The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) is alarmed by the prolonged downward trajectory in employment in hotels, restaurants and business services — all sectors that are highly employment intensive.

Last week, the BER’s fourth-quarter survey of "other services" showed that the percentage of hotels and restaurants which reported cutting jobs grew in each quarter last year despite the progressive opening up of the economy. A net 14% reported a decline in employment in Q1, 60% in Q2, 67% in Q3 and 83% in Q4. In business services, employment declined 41% in Q1, rising to 73% in Q4...

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