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Retail jobs decline in final quarter of 2016

The number of jobs in the retail sector fell in the final quarter of 2016 as retailers cut back on seasonal overtime work.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail jobs decline in final quarter of 2016

The number of jobs in the retail sector fell in the final quarter of 2016 as retailers cut back on seasonal overtime work.

The figures from the British Retail Consortium’s Employment Monitor reveal that the number of full time equivalent jobs dropped by 3% in the three months to 31 December.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium. said: “While the end of the year remains the busiest time for workers in retail, today’s figures are consistent with the long-term trend of retailers reducing the number of hours being worked to adjust to big structural changes in the industry.

“In the last quarter, seasonal overtime was scaled back much more than in previous years, reflecting the relative fall in importance of Boxing Day relative to pre-Christmas spend and Black Friday. We also saw some retailers reduce temporary seasonal staffing levels earlier than in previous years.”

The BRC said retailers are working to adapt to the advance of online shopping by experimenting with new stores and offerings, which drove a 1.5% increase in the number of outlets compared to the same period in the previous year. However, the organisation does not expect to see a long-term trend in rising store numbers.

Dickinson continued: “Against the backdrop of cost pressures, fierce competition between retailers, evolving customer needs, and the lightning expansion of digital technology, many retailers are likely to continue re-examining staffing levels to continue adapting.”

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