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Retail employment falls 2.3%, 14th consecutive quarter of decline

Retail employment has fallen by 2.3% during the three-month period ending 30 June, marking the 14th consecutive month of decline.

According to the figures from the BRC, the decline is equivalent to around 72,000 more jobs lost than compared to the same period last year.

Full-time employment also saw a higher reduction of 3%, compared with the decrease in part-time employees (2%). Total hours also fell by 2.5%, with full-time hours also seeing a higher reduction (2.7%) than part-time hours (2.3%).

This represents a slight slowing in the employment decline, with the number of employees falling by 2.4% in Q1 and hours falling by 2.7%. Store growth also slowed to 1.7%, compared to Q1 growth of 2.3%. Both food and non-food retailers added stores.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “Retail is undergoing a period of profound transformation driven by changing consumer behaviours and innovative technologies.

“As these structural changes unfold, we have seen retail employment falling across the country, with a 2.3% drop as compared with the previous year; this is equivalent to around 72,000 jobs being lost. Such declines are likely to endure, hastened by government policies that continue to add costs to an industry already under immense pressures.”

She added: “With a new prime minister and cabinet in place, there is a clear opportunity to rethink the high street strategy. Business rates pose an unsustainable burden on shops and jobs, and we urge the government to provide immediate relief to retailers large and small in order to facilitate much needed investment in the digital and physical offerings they provide to their customers.”

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