Licensed hospitality key to economic growth, says ALMR

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The latest official figures show that licensed hospitality is driving economic growth in the UK as the industry bucked nationwide pay stagnation to deliver 10 months of wage growth and continuing increases in Gross Value Added (GVA). Licensed hospitality trade body the ALMR said the statistics demonstrated the sector’s increasing economic importance and called on the Government to help ensure its ability to invest in people is not hindered in the crucial months ahead.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the hospitality industry now employs over 2 million people, having created 117,000 net new jobs in the last year, and has delivered month-on-month wage growth every month since August 2013.

Responding to the news, ALMR Strategic Affairs Director, Kate Nicholls, said “These figures demonstrate our members’ determination to invest in their staff and provide opportunities, which has undoubtedly been helped by measures like the Employment Allowance but is fundamentally possible only because of the incredible work of entrepreneurs in the industry.”

This was reinforced by the publication of data showing that 0.79 percentage points of the overall 0.83% growth in Q2 was attributable to the services sector – 95% of total growth – with hospitality boosting its Gross Value Added by 0.97%. Nicholls continued:

“The data show just how pivotal licensed hospitality is to the UK economy, driving growth in every town, city and region of the country.

“We are an exceptional provider of opportunities for young people and, despite an economy-wide fall in pay, we have seen ten months of consistent wage growth in licensed hospitality. Our members are determined to invest in their staff and provide opportunities so long as conditions permit.

“If the Government is prepared to make the cost of employing people cheaper, with further action on employers’ NICs and measures to drive down business rates and end the VAT disparity with supermarkets, we can do even better than these fantastic results. On average, each of our members’ outlets generates £209k GVA, employs 22 people and supports a local, sustainable supply chain all while paying 46% of its turnover in taxes to fund vital local services. Our industry is one that Government can’t afford not to support.”

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