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Number of retail jobs remains unchanged

The equivalent number of full-time jobs in retail remained unchanged in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the same period a year earlier.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Number of retail jobs remains unchanged

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and business law firm Bond Dickinson in their Retail Employment Monitor, show that 17% of retailers surveyed intend to increase staffing levels in the next three months compared with 20% this time last year.

Some 83% of retailers said they intend to keep staffing levels the same in the next three months compared with 76% at the same time last year. No retailers suggested that they were intending to decrease staffing levels.

The data also reveals that number of stores rose by 1.9%, driven by both food and non-food retailers.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Today’s figures give us some real insight into the impact of the structural changes happening in retailing right now.  

“The increase in store numbers is driven almost entirely by food retailers opening more small-format convenience stores to cater to changing shopping habits while the spike in redundancies is clear evidence of retailers ensuring their operations are as lean and efficient as possible in order to remain competitive in a fiercely contested market.”  

On a three month rolling basis, food retailers cut back on the number of hours worked for the 19th consecutive period. Store growth for food retailers fell to 1.7% - the weakest growth since the inception of the Monitor.

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, head of retail employment at Bond Dickinson, said: “Investment in more people in the retail sector is lagging behind investment in new stores as the march towards a greater proportion of smaller convenience stores continues. Increasing numbers of employees in non-food retail companies shows confidence in this part of the sector though many grocers are finding the market more of a challenge.”

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