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Coronavirus: Hospitality and travel jobs plummet by up to 85%

Retail continues to be one of the hardest-hit industries, with jobs down 70%, as all non-essential shops were forced to shut in March. (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

The UK job market has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, losing 60% of vacancies overall, new figures show.

Hospitality and catering vacancies have seen the biggest fall, plummeting 85% as restaurants, pubs, and entertainment venues have been closed since March as part of the nationwide lockdown, according to job search engine

Hospitality is the UK’s fourth-largest industry and has lost 43,764 jobs in the past 14 weeks. The losses disproportionately affect London-based workers, who make up 18% of the workforce. 

The figures come as fears grow for the future of 6,000 workers at Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas, with the restaurants’ parent company Casual Dining Group battling to survive.

Travel vacancies have fallen by 70% amid global restrictions on all but essential travel and lockdowns across the world. The figures come after Europe’s largest travel operator TUI (TUI.L) said that it could be forced to axe up to 8,000 jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Trade and construction vacancies have fallen 74% taking demand for construction workers to its lowest level in over eight years. The industry has lost 33,982 jobs over a 14-week period. 

The UK construction sector experienced its fastest decline in output ever in April, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted widespread site closures and shutdowns across the entire supply chain.

Despite construction workers being given the green light to return to work, interest in this sector has fallen amid safety fears around the risks of social distancing on construction sites.

Retail continues to be one of the hardest-hit industries, with jobs down 70%, as all non-essential shops were forced to shut in March. Interest in retail positions outweighs the number of opportunities available in the UK, with almost 10,000 monthly searches for ‘retail jobs’ compared with 5,843 jobs available, according to Adzuna.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “Restrictions around movement and travel continue to cause a huge drop in vacancies across the country, with job losses impacting every industry.

“Key industries such as hospitality continue to bear the brunt of coronavirus pandemic, with only a fraction of jobs available compared to the start of the year.

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“However, we are starting to see this downward trend either plateau or reverse across some European markets as lock-down eases and confidence around consumer spending continues to grow. We hope to see this same trend in the UK in the coming months as lock-down eases.”

The UK job market is the worst-hit across the globe, with vacancies down 60%, ahead of the US which has seen a 48% drop in vacancies and Australia which has lost 41% of job opportunities, according to Adzuna.