Retail jobs decline in second quarter
New data has revealed that the number of jobs in retail fell by 3.3% in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year.
The British Retail Consortium research found that there were reductions in hours worked on both full-time and part-time contracts.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The second quarter of 2017 saw employment in retail fall as the tide of change continues to sweep through the industry.
“Technology, which is both transforming the way we shop and providing increasing opportunities for automation in retail, combined with a difficult market environment and policies that have increased the cost of employing people, such as the National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy, are driving the industry towards fewer but more productive jobs.”
All three months of the quarter saw a decline in full time employment, with April’s decline the steepest of the three months but slower than the previous two months.
Some 69% of respondents to the survey reported a reduction in hours in the quarter compared to the same time last year while 15% said they are intending to decrease employment levels in the coming quarter.
Dickinson continued: “The pace of consolidation in the retail workforce has slowed this quarter compared to last. However, there are further reductions to come. The transformation of the industry is still in progress and this quarters’ data show that more retailers are intending to reduce their workforce in the coming months than at the same point last year.
“As ever, there are some retailers who are thriving and growing their workforce, although they are in the minority.”
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