Published on 26 - April - 2012
Retail employment up 0.4% in Q1 2012Employment opportunities in non-food stores rose for the first time in almost a year, according to the latest figures produced by the British Retail Consortium.
The increase in retail employment is equivalent to 3,011 more full-time jobs, according to the BRC
While the BRC said the increase was largely driven by food retailers, there was a net rise in the number of non-food outlets following a decline in Q4 2011. The number of retail outlets overall rose by 4.9%, a net increase of 858 shops.
The outlook remains positive, with only 8% of retailers reporting plans to decrease staffing levels compared with 29% this time last year. 71%, meanwhile, said they planned to keep staffing levels unchanged.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "The small increase in overall retail employment for the first quarter of this year is encouraging but it is clear from our return to recession just how fragile any growth is. None of these jobs can be taken for granted.
"Retailers are more positive about their immediate employment intentions than a year ago, but the GDP figures confirm 2012 will still be very tough for businesses and households. If it's to rekindle growth the Government should not be putting extra tax and regulatory costs on retailers or consumers."
Surviving the tough conditions is dependent on retailers embracing multi-channel opportunities, said business law firm Bond Pearce's head of retail employment Christina Tolvas-Vincent. She added: "Retailers must adapt and evolve in order to survive in these tough conditions, average earnings are still falling behind inflation, and this will shape consumer behaviour for some time to come.
The BRC findings also revealed a fall in redundancy rates during the first quarter of 2012, now returning to levels last seen in summer 2011.
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