The hospitality industry lost 7.5% of its workforce last month, with a further 21,337 employees losing their jobs, the latest data from Fourth has revealed.

The pub sector experienced the least impact, with a 5% reduction, followed by QSRs with a drop of 6%.

The restaurant and hotel sectors experienced the biggest loss, with the workforce declining by 8% and 10% respectively.

Compared to October 2019, there was a 21% drop in overall staff headcount last month, with approximately three leavers for every starter.

Once again, the pub sector experienced the least impact, with a drop in labour of 18% over the course of the month, followed by QSRs (down 20%), restaurants (down 22%) and hotels (down 24%).

SME’s were hit harder than larger, national operators, with staff levels dropping 23.3% versus October 2019, compared to a drop of 16.8% in larger businesses.

Unsurprisingly, scheduled staffing hours also dropped during the month, by 37.1% in larger businesses and 47.7% in SME’s.

Since January this year, there has been approximately 500,000 job losses in the sector.

“October was another incredibly challenging month for the hospitality sector, with further government-imposed restrictions impacting trading and consumer confidence,” said Fourth MD Sebastien Sepierre. “Whilst entering a second lockdown is incredibly difficult for the sector, we hope that the extension of the furlough scheme will provide essential support to businesses to enable them to get through the coming weeks and months.

“When it comes to navigating this period, it’s vital that the whole sector is kept informed and given enough warning about what will happen when the lockdown is scheduled to end. Effective planning will be key to how operators emerge and best prepare for success as they come out of lockdown.”