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High StreetPeople Moves

Retail job losses make up almost half of 50,000 lost this year

Almost half of the 50,000 jobs lost in the UK this year have been in the retail sector, new figures suggest.

Data from the Press Association shows that around 50,000 have seen their jobs cut or have had their positions threatened during the first half of the year, while additional data from the BBC found the retail sector alone has accounted for 22,000 job cuts with multiple chains entering administration or Company Voluntary Agreements (CVA).

Last month alone House of Fraser and Poundworld saw 6,000 and 5,000 jobs threatened respectively as the former entered a CVA and Poundworld plunged into administration.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), commenting on the statistics, said retailers need to stop using tough high street conditions as “an excuse to lay staff off”. TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Last year was tough for the high street. But employers must not use this as an excuse to lay staff off. They need to work with unions to minimise redundancies.

“Retail depends on customers having money in their pockets. One reason why some shops are struggling is because wage growth has been very weak. Government needs to up its game, boost the economy and invest in great jobs that people can live on.”

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