Travel and hospitality hardest hit as COVID-19 continues to ravage UK job market

Jobs in the hospitality and catering industry have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty)

The hospitality and catering industry has been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic with a 66% reduction in job vacancies, according to new analysis of the latest job market data.

The closure of restaurants, pubs, and bars as part of the battle against the spread of the coronavirus has taken its toll as the number of open vacancies has dropped from 51,998 to 18,645 across the country this year, the analysis by job search engine Adzuna found.

COVID-19 continues to hit the travel industry as job vacancies have fallen by 38%. Travel bans have caused many airlines to scale back across the UK, with British Airways grounding all flights from Gatwick Airport as the demand for travel collapses.

The energy industry has seen a significant downturn with job vacancies falling by 62%, opportunities for consultancy jobs are down by 54%, and HR and recruitment has seen a reduction of 54% in job vacancies.

Change in total job vacancies 2020. (Adzuna)

In contrast, cleaning and domestic help vacancies have seen an increase of 23% as demand for cleaners, domestic workers, and hospital cleaning staff continues to increase as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Public health officials continue to stress the importance of clean working and living areas to prevent the spread of the virus, which has led to a rise in demand across the UK. 

There has been a 35% reduction in total job vacancies in the UK in the last seven weeks.

Last week, business groups sounded the alarm on jobs, warning that huge swathes of the population could be laid off or furloughed in the coming weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A million people applied for universal credit benefit in just two weeks last month, suggesting redundancies have already begun en masse.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said 52% of businesses surveyed planned to use the furlough scheme. The British Chamber of Commerce’s survey of 600 businesses found 44% were planning to furlough at least 50% of staff in the next week.

Read more: UK workers 'left with nothing' by small print of coronavirus support schemes

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “With recent developments within the travel industry and big-name brands such as British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2 and TUI all grounding flights or reviewing existing roles for their staff, it’s no surprise to see such a big decrease in available vacancies within the industry.

“We do expect this number to continue declining as we approach the peak of the pandemic here in the UK, along with reductions across the hospitality industry. However, during these uncertain times, we are seeing certain industries such as cleaning and domestic help flourishing, or seeing a minimal impact, which is positive.”