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Vacancies in freefall in hospitality and food service firms, study suggests

Nicola Sturgeon announces further restrictions to hospitality sector  across central Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon announces further restrictions to hospitality sector across central Scotland.

Job vacancies in the hospitality and food service industries have been in “freefall” since a 10pm curfew was imposed on pubs and restaurants, a new study suggests.

Scotland’s new restrictions will inflict further pain on people looking for work, said jobs site Indeed.

Its analysis showed that new job postings in hospitality and tourism companies have fallen by 61% since the end of August and are down 9% since the 10pm curfew came into effect last month.

Recruitment in the food preparation and service sector has fallen by a quarter since the end of August, with an 11% decline since the 10pm curfew, said the report.

Hiring accelerated during August as the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme boosted trade in pubs and restaurants, said Indeed.

The number of vacancies in other sectors is increasing and continues to inch closer to pre-lockdown levels, it was suggested.

Jack Kennedy, of Indeed, said: “This summer’s encouraging signs of recovery in the food, drink and hospitality sectors slipped into reverse after the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme finished at the end of August.

“Since the imposition of a nationwide 10pm curfew a fortnight ago, the number of new vacancies has tipped into freefall.

“The industry is now braced for even more pain, with Scotland ordering the temporary closure of some pubs and banning the serving of alcohol indoors at those that can remain open.

“At their lowest point during lockdown, new job postings in these sectors were down 95% compared to their 2019 level.

“Progress has been made since then, but the gradual ratcheting up of restrictions – even though they still fall short of a second lockdown – has curtailed employers’ hiring intentions.

“Hiring levels continue to improve across the wider economy, but for Britain’s hardest-hit sectors it feels like a case of one step forward and two steps back.”