Latest figures show economic damage to foodservice and hospitality industries

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The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the scale of the economic damage caused to the foodservice and hospitality industries from the Coronavirus pandemic. The ‘Labour market overview’ highlights a range of economic and employment trends across the UK economy as a whole with notable figures highlighted for the hospitality industry.

The report highlighted that March 2021 saw a reduction in the number of patrolled employees following from several months of consecutive increases and that the most significant falls in payroll figures were, perhaps unsurprisingly, at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. Against this backdrop, it was noted that “Over the year, the largest falls in payrolled employment have been in the hospitality sector, among those aged under 25 years, and among those living in London.” The ONS goes on to state “Of the 813,000 decrease in payrolled employees since March 2020: 355,000 can be attributed to employees working in the accommodation and food service activities sector”.

The food-service industry was also seen to particularly adversely affected in terms of recent job vacancies. The ONS states “The number of job vacancies in January to March 2021 fell by nearly 23% on the year; arts, entertainment and recreation, and accommodation and food service activities continue to be the worst affected”. However, the report does highlight that March did see a significant increase in overall job vacancies across the UK and with the possibility fo this momentum carrying over into April’s economic activity.

Interesting figures were also presented in relation of furlough trends, with the ONS stating “The Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) Wave 27 (8 to 21 March 2021) showed that 19% of the business workforce was on furlough. The arts, entertainment and recreation industry (58%) and the accommodation and food service activities industry (51%) sustained high proportions of furloughed workers. Both industries experienced the largest increase in furlough rates between early December 2020 and mid-March 2021.” For more information visit

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