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- Total online job advertisements on 9 April were at the same levels as the pre-pandemic times.
- According to the Adzuna report, vacancies saw an increase in 16 of the 28 industries.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have highlighted that job postings on 9 April were at the same level as of February 2020 before the pandemic started and when the first lockdown was imposed nationwide. According to a report based on data by a search engine for job ads Adzuna, the numbers saw an increase due to the reopening of the economy and mass inoculation drives across the United Kingdom though a major proportion of workers are still on furlough.
In the March 2021 report based on the ONS data, the job vaccines had shown improvement where it was highlighted that around one in five workers relied on the government’s furlough scheme. Online job advertisements in February saw an increase of five percentage points from the January numbers.
The report further stated that vacancies saw an increase in 16 of the 28 industries but the legal and catering & hospitality roles saw a massive uptick as compared to other sectors.
On 12 April, the UK government reopened the outdoor hospitality facilities, non-essential retail, gyms and hairdressers as per the government’s exit roadmap. Ahead of the reopening, catering and hospitality sector rehired people as many had left before Brexit. The sector jobs increased by 10 percentage points to 58% of their February 2020 average. London and Scotland saw the maximum increase in job postings.
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The Boris Johnson government has had taken extensive steps to support employment during pandemic times. Of all the sectors, the hospitality sector suffered the most, and now the government is introducing measures to encourage people to go back to restaurants, bars, and cafes. The next big date will be 17 May, when indoor hospitality will resume and may further push the hiring.
In this article, we will touch upon 2 hospitality sector stocks which may do well with the reopening.
- Whitbread PLC (LON: WTB)
- Current Price: GBX 3,520.00
- Market Capitalisation: £7.109 billion
- 52-week Price Range: GBX 1,997.00 - 3,949.01
The UK-based company owns several hotels and restaurants across the country. The company operates many brands, such as Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, Cookhouse & Pub, Bar + Block, Premier Inn, and Thyme. The company stock prices suffered tremendously in 2020 as most of its venues were closed due to coronavirus pandemic. Its revenue reported a 77 per cent decline and saw a net loss of £153.7 million. Following this, the company was forced to axe around 1,500 jobs in January 2021 as its sales came down by half due to coronavirus restrictions.
A PwC report highlighted that the UK hotel occupancy rate would be around 55 per cent. A lot of people could be forced for ‘staycations’ this year if the government goes ahead and allows international travel. The company can benefit from the trend in the near future.
- Wetherspoon (J.D.) PLC (LON: JDW)
- Current Price: GBX 1,378.00
- Market Capitalisation: £1,762.59 billion
- 52-week Price Range: GBX 751.50-1,452.97
The FTSE 250-listed firm ran into a massive loss in its first half year of 2020-21 due to the lockdown measures, which prevented hospitality venues from operating. The company in its H1 report, the firm reported a pre-tax loss of £46.2 million as compared to a £57.9 million profit a year ago. The revenues too fell by 53.8 per cent to £431.1million.
Despite this, the company has said that it plans to open 18 new pubs and create at least 2,000 jobs in next few months. The new jobs are scheduled to come up in Leeds, Birmingham, Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, Sheffield, Glasglow and others.
Besides, the company expects to invest another £750 million for a major expansion in the next 10 years, which would create 20,000 new jobs.