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Growth signals turnaround in retail jobs market

The equivalent number of full-time jobs in retail edged up 0.8% in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year to mark the fastest rate of growth in hours worked since March 2014.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Growth signals turnaround in retail jobs market

The equivalent number of full-time jobs in retail edged up 0.8% in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year to mark the fastest rate of growth in hours worked since March 2014.

The figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Bond Dickinson in their retail employment monitor show that both food and non-food retailers contributed to the rise in full-time equivalent jobs. This was the first sign of growth in the food sector since November 2013.

The data also reveals that the number of outlets rose by 1.1%. Both food and non-food retailers contributed to the overall increase in the number of stores.

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, head of retail employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson said: “Green shoots of recovery are clearly visible, even amongst grocers, who have seen the first increase in hours worked for almost two years despite tough economic challenges.”

However, the BRC said costs relating to implementing Government policies such as the National Living Wage and the apprenticeship levy, as well as the increasing cost of business rates, could cast a shadow over the possibility of future jobs growth.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson added: “We will be watching the figures very closely to see how the impact of this additional burden affects employment prospects in retail going forward. A commitment from the Chancellor to keep his promise of fundamental reform of rates would instil more confidence in retailers for the future.”

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