Women Biggest Losers As Pubs Disappear

New analysis by specialist hospitality recruiter The Change Group reveals women have been the biggest losers in the decline of public houses. The analysis is based on recently published employment data from the Office of National Statistics as well as historical data that show a steady decline in the number of people working in pubs.

Most notably, the number of women license holders has fallen by almost 44% in the past five years, while the number of male licensees has declined by less than 22%. As a result, only one in three publicans is now a woman, whereas five years ago, two out of five publicans were female. Overall, the number of publicans and managers of licensed premises stands at a five year low, down 30% from five years ago and 45% from three years ago.

There has also been a decline of 13% in the number of catering and bar managers and an 8% decline in the number of bar staff.

New data from Camra shows 29 pubs are being ‘lost’ to conversion or demolition every week so this trend is likely to continue.

Commenting on the figures, co founder and director of The Change Group, Craig Allen, said, “The decline in the number of pub jobs is very distressing, especially the fact that women pub owners have been among the biggest losers. Running a pub is as much a lifestyle choice as a job. Pubs have also been an important area of entrepreneurship for women despite the fact that senior pay is lower than in other parts of hospitality.

“Successful pubs now need an outstanding food offering to compete and this is tough. They need to hire skilled chefs at a time when talent is scarce and as a result can command higher salaries. Coupled with rising costs as a result of inflation and a weak pound, this creates a very hard proposition, especially for smaller independents.

“So while it is great to see such growth in hospitality employment overall, it is a shame that this is happening against a backdrop of rapid decline in British pubs, and in particular among female owners.”