UK Hospitality has warned that 500,000 jobs are at risk without further support from the government.

Yesterday the ONS revealed unemployment hit 4.5%, the highest figure since 2017.

“The feeble nature of the employment market is worrying in and of itself, but it masks a much larger worry for the country,” said UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls.

“Furlough support is about to end and we are moving onto a Job Support Scheme that will not work for many of our businesses. Our sector is being forced to operate under crippling restrictions, so to pay staff for more than hours worked is an unachievable ask for many venues. Unless support is forthcoming, the outlook is only going to get bleaker.

“We are now on the brink of widespread job losses. Half a million jobs in the hospitality sector are on the verge of being lost. We need much more wide-ranging support for businesses struggling to operate amidst stifling restrictions. Otherwise, the next labour market update is going to look significantly worse.”