Biggest rise in retail employment since 2009

BRC director-general Helen Dickinson welcomed the news
BRC director-general Helen Dickinson welcomed the news
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figures out today will add to mounting evidence of an emerging recovery across the retail sector, with employment growing at its fastest pace since 2009.

Data collected by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that the number of jobs across the sector jumped by 3.7 per cent in the second quarter, up from a 1.8 per cent increase in the first three months of the year.

It marks the sixth consecutive rise in the number of “full-time equivalent” employees recorded by the BRC-Bond Dickinson retail employment monitor.

During the same period, the number of shops across the UK rose by 1.5 per cent, with all 263 of the stores opened by grocers. By contrast, the number of non-food stores shrank.

BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said the news would be particularly welcomed by new entrants into the job market, as the retail sector is a major source of jobs for young people. “This is the best result we’ve seen for retail jobs since 2009 and adds to the positive news on the labour market from the Office for National Statistics,” she said. “While we know there is considerable regional variation in retail performance and footfall, these jobs provide further evidence that a consumer recovery is starting to take shape.”

Separate BRC surveys have already revealed a slight increase in footfall across the UK’s high streets, as well as a 2.9 per cent rise in the value of UK sales during June. In Scotland, the equivalent figure was 2.8 per cent.

The trend has been further confirmed by the ONS, which earlier this month reported a 0.2 per cent rise in UK retail sales volumes during June.