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Hospitality wages spike after months of deflation

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The average hourly pay of workers over 25 in the UK hospitality industry rose to £8.38 in January, following a period of decline.

This is according to the latest statistics from Fourth, a global software provider for the leisure and hospitality industries.

Wages fell significantly from £8.55 in June to £8.18 in November, before plateauing at £8.16 in December and rising to £8.38 in January.

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The trend marks the first time wages have decreased for such a prolonged period since Fourth started tracking the metric in 2015. 

Since then, the hourly pay of workers has been steadily rising ahead of the annual incremental increases, the latest of which will increase the hourly rate for over 25s to £8.21 in April 2019.

The statistics, from Fourth Analytics data on the hourly pay of thousands of hospitality workers from the restaurant, QSR and pub sectors, show that pubs and restaurants were primarily driving the wage deflation.

During the period between June and December, the average hourly rates of workers in the pub sector decreased by 3.5%, while the restaurant sector experienced a 4.5% decrease.  

The data also reveals that the hourly wages of front of house (FOH) workers fell from £8.21 in June, to £7.68 in November. Those working in back of house (BOH) experienced a 4% decrease in hourly wages, falling to £8.53 over the same period. 

Commenting on the figures, Mike Shipley, analytics & insight solutions director at Fourth, said: “The hospitality industry has experienced an unprecedented period of labour inflation over recent years, with a combination of factors, including a shrinking pool of workers, particularly in back of house roles, along with the fight to attract and retain the best employees, significantly driving up the average hourly wage.

“During the proceeding months, the average hourly wage has been steadily falling and it now aligns with figures reported during March 2018. Since we started tracking the average hourly rate, the actual rate has always been tracking significantly ahead of the incremental legislative changes to the NLW rate. For the first time, the current hourly rate is broadly in line with the new rate due to come into force this April, so it will be interesting to see how the actual figure moves between now and then.”

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Zoe Monk

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