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Retail jobs growth slows

Published: 27 January 2011
The number of full-time jobs grew by 0.6% in Q4 2010 compared with the same quarter last year, according to the latest BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor.
Retail jobs growth slows
This is the equivalent of 3,900 more full-time jobs. The number of outlets grew by 5.9% - an additional 943 shops.

December was a difficult month for the sector, with the number of hours worked by retail employees falling by 1.5% as a result of tough trading conditions. This was equivalent to a fall of around 10,300 full-time jobs year-on-year. The number of outlets grew during the month by 6%, compared with December 2009.

The monitor also revealed that 58% of retailers sampled would keep staffing levels unchanged in the next three months. 38% said they would decrease staffing levels, compared with 13% this time last year.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: "Against an economy-wide background of rising unemployment, retail job numbers were up modestly by 0.6% on the same quarter in 2009. Almost two thirds of retailers say they will add to or maintain job numbers over the next three months and new stores are still being opened. With youth unemployment a major concern, retailers' largely positive outlook is good news for young jobseekers since a third of retail staff are under 25.

"But December was a difficult trading month for some retailers. Overall, employment growth faltered in December because stores were less busy so there were fewer working hours than the previous year. But, there was a sharp contrast between retail sectors. The hours reduction came from non-food retailing while grocery continued to increase employment. This mixed and uncertain picture underlines the need for a strong political focus on growth and a Budget that reduced burdens on business."


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