Retail employment fell by 0.4% in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show there were 3,100 fewer full-time retail jobs during the period.
It is the first time the BRC-Bond Pearce Retail Employment Monitor has recorded three consecutive months of negative annual jobs growth, with the fall concentrated most heavily among non-food retailers. The survey also found that both full-time and part-time employees are working fewer hours compared with the previous year.
Looking ahead to the next quarter, 58% of those surveyed for the monitor indicated that the plan to keep staffing levels unchanged over the next three months while 25% said they would decrease staffing levels. This compares to 8% of respondents who said they planned to decrease staffing levels at this time last year.
“Most retailers continue to hold steady and almost one in five still expects to increase jobs, but a growing number are having to limit hours and reduce staff leaving overall retail employment down on a year ago,” said BRC director general Stephen Robertson.
Robertson added that there was a distinct split between the fortunes of those retailers selling food, which is a must have, and those working in other more discretionary-spend and big ticket sectors.