Retail employment falls by 0.4%

Recent research published has shown that in the second quarter of 2011, retail employment was down by 0.4% compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the equivalent of 3,100 fewer full-time jobs according to our sample. During the same period the number of retail outlets grew by 4.5%, an additional 743 shops.

This is the first time the Monitor has recorded three consecutive months of negative annual jobs growth. Comparing just June with the same month in 2010, the equivalent number of full-time employees fell by 0.7%.

The fall in the numbers of jobs is heavily weighted towards non-food retailers with both their full-time and part-time employees working fewer hours compared with the previous year.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: “Most retailers continue to hold steady and almost one in five still expects to increase jobs, but a growing number are having to limit hours and reduce staff – leaving overall retail employment down on a year ago.

“The split reflects the very different fortunes of retailers selling food – a must-have for customers – and those servicing discretionary and big ticket spending.

“These figures show the sector’s crucial role in providing jobs, especially for the under 25s, can’t be taken for granted. With the latest GDP data showing how weak the recovery is, the Government needs to act quickly. It must implement its Growth Strategy, particularly reducing government-generated costs from regulation, inconsistent enforcement, business rates and new employment law measures. Large and medium sized companies need the same moratorium on new regulation as the smallest firms.”

This research is in stark contrast to the findings also published this week which forecasted that 1.5 million eCommerce jobs will be taken in the UK by 2015, highlighting the emphasis which is put on a business online presence.

For more information on how to make the most of your business online, contact us today for an informal chat.

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