The UK’s largest hospitality industry trade association, UKHospitality, has warned the government that taxation and regulatory pressures risk undoing the job creation carried out by the hospitality sector since 2008.
The warning follows the publication of data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that shows there are 31,000 fewer jobs available compared to same period last year.
The data highlighted a third consecutive quarter of contraction in jobs numbers and 92,000 fewer jobs compared to the peak of Q2 2017. Despite this, the number of jobs in the sector is nearly 400,000 more than at the end of 2008.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector has done a fantastic job at creating opportunities, revitalising high streets and stimulating growth since the financial crisis. The sector has been a major driver of employment, creating one in seven of all new jobs despite increasing cost pressures and legislative restrictions.
“The new data from the ONS suggests that these cost pressures are becoming too much for some employers and, consequently, we are looking at a reduction in the number of jobs compared to last year. It also seems no coincidence that the reduction in jobs should follow so closely from the disastrous business rates revaluation that has heaped more pressure on venues.”
She added: “We have been vocal and persistent in our message to the government that if businesses continue to face spiralling taxes, they will struggle to invest and grow and, ultimately, jobs will be at risk.
“The sector is still in a very strong position and has an opportunity to continue creating jobs and revitalising communities around the UK, but only if exorbitant and destructive costs are tackled by the government.”