UKHospitality has said unemployment statistics published today showing the hospitality sector saw the largest annual increase in unemployment last year are a reminder the industry needs more support to keep businesses alive and jobs secure.
The data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found that the largest annual increase in unemployment was for those who were previously employed in accommodation and food services, up 54,000 to 171,000, comparing September and November 2019 with the same months in 2020.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "This is a reminder, not that it is needed, that we have been hit hardest by this. Unless we want to see unemployment in our sector rise even further, we need more support to keep businesses alive and these jobs secure. The VAT cut and business rates holiday must be extended to give employers some breathing room to keep jobs safe.
"It is vital that we have a clear exit strategy and a route map to recovery as soon as possible. Hospitality can be the key to jobs and skills for young people and we can plug the gaps left by retail and help revitalise the economy. We can only do this with the right support to see us through the crisis, though."