As the UK economy recovers and restrictions are eased, the hospitality sector is suffering from a post-brexit shortage of chefs and restaurant staff, with an estimated 117,000 vacancies in the sector, up 16,000 from the same period in 2020.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show an upsurge in the number of people in employment, which rose by 182,000 to 28.9 million last month, but still 201,000 lower than a year ago.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in the three months to the end of June from 4.8 percent previously, according to the ONS.
Job vacancies have soared to a record high of 953,000 in May to July — up by more than 168,000 from last year, with hospitality sector jobs accounting for an estimated 12% of the total job vacancies across the UK.
The British Chambers of Commerce warned the recruitment crisis could have a detrimental effect on the economy, as well as pushing up wages to above inflation levels.
Shortages have already driven up headline pay statistics, with wage growth hitting 7.4 percent over the period, the ONS said.
Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “the sector is experiencing widespread or recruitment challenges and this is just one of the many negative effects stemming from a prolonged period of closure that hospitality has suffered while furlough has helped protect many sector jobs, businesses that have been haemorrhaging cash or accruing debt during enforced closures and trading restrictions have been forced to let staff go and were unable to reopen with full teams intact. some of these workers will have moved to different sectors that have been open and busy over the course of the pandemic.”
“This is just more evidence of how hospitality has been uniquely hit by the pandemic and of the crucial need for government to continue its support. as a sector we are committed to promoting the incredible, varied and rewarding careers that hospitality has to offer.”