Hospitality is the worst-hit sector in new unemployment figures
Over a third of jobs lost across the U.K. between February and November came in hospitality, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported by the BBC. Of the 819,000 fewer workers on company payrolls in November as compared to February, hospitality’s decline accounted for 297,000 of those job losses. ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said, “It you look at the number of people losing their jobs, the number of people on furlough and the vacancies available for people looking for jobs in the hospitality sector, all that adds up to a very difficult time for that industry.”
The figures arrive just as London joins much of England in heading into tier three coronavirus restrictions under which hospitality venues must close. They underscore not the persistent narrative that the industry has been scapegoated, but rather the fact that government support — the furlough scheme, VAT cut, and business loans and grants — have not been enough to keep jobs while businesses have been forced to close, reopen, and close again. Delays to extending the furlough scheme and the short-lived plan for the Job Support Scheme left businesses forced to make cuts because there was no clarity on what was coming; caveated opening procedures based around “substantial meals” provided an illusion of freedom while in fact restricting trade, with no support to compensate for that restriction — because businesses could open. This is the result of chancellor Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson trying to have restrictions both ways, and the industry forecasts many more jobs lost without definitive, proportionate financial support. [BBC]
And in other news...
- London’s restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars will enter tier three coronavirus rules from 16 December.
- What tier three coronavirus restrictions mean for hospitality.
- The Soho restaurant debut for adored pop-up Imad’s Syrian Kitchen will be delayed by tier three.
- Where to get some incredible mince pies to take away.
- Restaurant meal kits for Christmas and beyond.
- Hackney tasting menu restaurant Pidgin is crowdfunding, after being unable to access government financial schemes during the pandemic. [Big Hospitality]
- Lewis Hamilton’s vegan restaurant Neat Burger is expanding into Soho. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet: