ONS official figures for the 12 months up until June 2018 show that the average number of people working in the hospitality industry was 18,000 lower than the previous year, dropping for the first time since the end of the 2008 recession.

Currently the 1.75 million people employed by the industry represent 5.5% of the nation’s workforce of 32,000,000. Last month UKHospitality warned of an “alarming portent of possible disaster” as the labour pool is expected to shrink post-Brexit.

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