Hospitality vacancies fall ‘considerably’ but remain above pre-Covid levels

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality vacancies fall ‘considerably’ but remain above pre-Covid levels

Related tags Living wage Employment Recruitment Hospitality Jobs Staff ukhospitality

Hospitality vacancies fell to 112,000 at the end of 2023, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), down from 147,000 at the same time in 2022.

The drop of 35,000 has been described as ‘encouraging news’ for the sector, but warnings remain that ‘there is still much more to do’ to get vacancies back down to their pre-pandemic figure of 89,000.

“It’s encouraging news that vacancies over the past year have fallen by such a considerable amount,” says Kate Nicholls.

“Hospitality businesses have invested heavily in their recruitment and how they develop their own talent – this progress is testament to their work.

“However, there is still much more to do. We still have 23,000 more vacancies than before the pandemic and recruitment is still challenging. It’s why our vacancy rate remains high at 8%.”

UKHospitality is reaffirming its calls for measures that it claims will ‘further enhance the sector’s ability to invest and develop its staff’, primarily through reform of the Apprenticeship Levy.

It adds that the ‘ever-rising cost burden for businesses’ also needs to be addressed ahead of the National Living Wage increase in April​.

“Hospitality can continue to drive down vacancies and create more jobs, if we are supported to do so,” Nicholls continues.

“Reform of the Apprenticeship Levy would allow businesses to enhance their skills and development offering even further and is something the entire economy is supportive of.

“What’s incredibly pressing is reducing the cost burden for venues, which continues to be the driver of closures.

“The National Living Wage increase in April is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now and measures to reduce business costs are critical to help venues with the increase wage cost this brings.”

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