Restaurant and pub bosses are holding back on hiring as Omicron spreads through the UK, dampening hopes for a fully-booked festive season.
Job ads in the hospitality and catering sector fell 25 per cent the week after the Omicron variant was announced as arriving in the UK, according to new data released by jobs search engine Adzuna.
Monday December 5 saw the lowest number of job ads in the sector since August, bucking the seasonal trend of restaurants boosting staff numbers to cope with Christmas parties.
“Omicron has slammed the brakes on early for hospitality,” said Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna.
“Uncertainty is hitting the hospitality industry and hiring has nosedived in the last week. Employers are holding back hiring as they wait and see the effect of the variant on their businesses, be that cancelled Christmas bookings or staffing issues caused by employees needing to isolate.”
More than a thousand people a day are being infected with the Omicron variant in Britain with cases doubling every three days, reports The Times.