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Jobs growth in retail defies tough economy

The British Retail Consortium said in the third quarter of 2010, retail full-time equivalent (FTE) employment was up by 2.1%, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. This is equivalent to a net increase of 12,746 retail jobs.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Jobs growth in retail defies tough economy

The increase in employment was driven by a 4.2% net increase in the number of stores in the three months to September, compared with the same period last year – an additional 652 retail outlets.

The BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor (REM) shows 61% of retailers in their sample intend to increase staffing levels in the next three months, compared with 54% this time last year. It indicates a noticeable improvement in sentiment over the last 12 months.

39% of the sample indicated that they would keep staffing levels unchanged compared with 38% in the third quarter of 2009. There were no retailers in our sample suggesting that they were planning to reduce staffing levels in the next three months, whereas, last year 8% of retailers said that they were planning to reduce staff levels.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "British retail is the engine room of economic recovery. This is the tenth consecutive month of retail employment growth, which is an impressive effort in tough trading conditions.

"In the last quarter, retailers in our Monitor have managed to deliver 652 new stores and created an extra 12,750 jobs. At a time of economic uncertainty, and with half-a-million public jobs due to be lost by 2014, this is up-to-the-minute evidence that retailers are continuing to invest in new premises and people.

"The recovery remains fragile and continuing growth should not be taken for granted. Rightly, the Government has shown resolve with the public spending cuts part of its plan for the country. It must be equally committed to promoting the private sector-led growth it knows is needed."

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