Hospitality Today Summer 2017 (#38) - Page 24

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| Hospitality Today | Summer 2017

Hospitality , skills & Brexit

The ONS released official statistics in July showing that , between December 2016 to February 2017 and March to May 2017 , the number of people in work increased , the number of unemployed people fell , and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 not working and not seeking or available to work ( economically inactive ) also fell .
There were 32.01 million people in work , 175,000 more than for December 2016 to February 2017 and 324,000 more than for a year earlier . The employment rate ( the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work ) was 74.9 %, the highest since comparable records began in 1971 .
There were 1.49 million unemployed people ( people not in work but seeking and available to work ), 64,000 fewer than for December 2016 to February 2017 and 152,000 fewer than for a year earlier .
The unemployment rate ( the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed , that were unemployed ) was 4.5 %, down from 4.9 % for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975 . The inactivity rate ( the proportion of 16 to 64s who were economically inactive ) was 21.5 %, down from 21.7 % for a year earlier and the joint lowest since comparable records began in 1971 .
Ufi Ibrahim ( above ), the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association ( BHA ) said : “ With UK unemployment at its lowest since 1975 it is crucial that the UK continues to have access to European workers after Brexit . Hospitality and tourism is the fourth largest industry in the UK employing 4.6 million people and since 2010 has created 1 in 5 new jobs . New research by Ignite Economics predicts that over 500,000 new jobs could be created in the industry over the next five years but shows that the growth outlook is highly uncertain , given the pressures of falling real living standards , the costs of implementing the National Living Wage , increases in business rates and the potential lack of labour following exit from the EU .
“ To ensure the industry ’ s growth isn ’ t jeopardized , the BHA is calling on the Government to address the serious economic concerns facing businesses across the UK .
“ We need the Government to step up and support our industry by reducing tourism VAT , working with us to reduce the dependence on EU workers and increase the number of UK workers joining the hospitality industry , allowing the Low Pay Commission to set the National Living Wage and to bring forward a fundamental review of Business Rates .
“ We are calling for a ten-year phased approach to help reduce dependency on workers from the EU allowing time for the recruitment of UK workers , and have submitted our strategy to Number 10 .”
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