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A quarter of UK pubs have closed since 2001 – ONS

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A quarter of UK pubs have closed since 2001 – ONS 29th November 2018

Statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown that more than 25% of UK pubs have closed since 2008.

The ONS report, “Economies of ale”, revealed that that more than 11,000 pubs have closed in the UK in the last decade. The ONS analysis shows that it’s small pubs that are disappearing, as the big pub chains consolidate their businesses around bigger bars.

Whilst on the face of it, it looks like bad news, the ONS have urged caution stating: “… these figures don’t tell the full story of how the UK pub trade is doing. Although lots of pubs have closed, the total turnover of pubs and bars has held up, remaining flat since 2008, once inflation is taken into account. The remaining pubs and bars appear to have soaked up the custom from those pubs that have closed down.”

Employment figures in the sector have supported the statement above.  In 2008, pubs in the UK had a median number of five employees. By 2018, partly due to the closure of many smaller pubs, this had increased to eight employees.

The rise in employment has been more pronounced in rural pubs, where in 2018 total employment in England and Wales is up 17% compared with 2008. In contrast, total employment in urban pubs rose by only 4% over the same period.

Source: ONS

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