Number of people working in pubs soars by six per cent in UK despite closure of 11k venues

Official figures reveal employment is up by six per cent in a decade due to bigger venues and the addition of food services.

In 2008, the average UK pub had just five employees. This was eight by 2018.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The pub sector is proud of its role as a major UK employer.

“Office for National Statistics data showing that pubs are employing more people than ever before is welcome news.

“This reflects that many smaller pubs are closing and larger pubs will inevitably employ more people.”

The ONS figures also reveal that the number of small pubs — those that employ up to nine people — has decreased by 40 per cent to 22,840.

The total of medium and large pubs has increased by 17 per cent to 15,975. Overall, more than 11,000 watering holes — or around one in four — have closed since 2008, the data shows.

This brings the total number of pubs still open to around 39,000.

Simmonds added: “Unless more is done to help alleviate the cost pressures that pubs face, however, they will continue to close and jobs will be lost.”

The largest pub companies made the shift to providing food following the 2007 indoor smoking ban.

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