Campaigning group UnitedCity has revealed that Manchester’s night-time economy workforce could be missing out on £8.1m per day in wages in the run-up to Christmas.
Hospitality, which accounts for 33% of all employment in Greater Manchester, has suffered a massive blow by being placed in Tier 3 restrictions following lockdown – with all premises forced to operate on a takeaway-only basis.
A new study, carried out by Metro Dynamics on behalf of UnitedCity, has now laid bare the sobering statistics of this decision – revealing that over £114m of wages will be lost between the time the tier system came into effect on December 2 and the government review on December 16.
This includes £3m per day from artistic and cultural sectors; £1.9m per day from bar staff, waiters, and chefs; £2m per day from hotel, pub, and restaurant managers and £1.3m per day from security guards.
A spokesperson for UnitedCity said: “The £114m figure is actually a conservative figure, as it doesn’t capture the wider implications for other sectors affiliated with hospitality, such as taxis and catering suppliers. It also doesn’t consider the additional jobs we all know are created in the run-up to Christmas.
“We have estimated that this can be an additional 50% more staff and existing staff working 25% more hours.
“What is important to also highlight is that aside from the staggering value of wages lost, these businesses add so much to our region: venues like HOME, which is a member of UnitedCity, are absolutely vital to our local ecosystem. Last year alone, the cultural institution brought £26m into Manchester’s economy.
“The longer that our businesses are unfairly placed under the stranglehold of Tier 3 and tight lockdowns, the more precarious our economic position becomes.
“Perhaps even more importantly, we stand the risk of losing the vibrancy that makes our city region so special.”
It is hoped that Greater Manchester will move down a tier from December 19 – allowing large portions of the hospitality sector to reopen.
UnitedCity erected billboards around the city earlier this month declaring that ‘All Mancs want for Christmas is (Tier) 2’, and has since called on the government to give businesses a heads up on rules before the festive season so bars can make appropriate arrangements.
“Since March, Greater Manchester has only been in restrictions equivalent to Tier 1 for a total of three weeks,” said the group.
“This means that in 2020, leisure businesses in Greater Manchester have not only missed out on Christmas trade, but also on Bank Holidays, Pride celebrations, Halloween, and more.
“We must also consider urgently the mental health of those employed by the night-time economy. Some of the figure we have calculated will be paid in furlough, but there are still significant costs and potentially permanent damage to the businesses and workers affected.
“Experiencing financial worries and concerns related to job security around Christmas will be tough for the leisure sector’s workforce, and we must ensure they are adequately supported.”