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John Lewis CEO says over 50s quitting jobs could fuel inflation

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

9 Aug 2022

Retail

Image: Hiring via Pexels

As the retail sector continues to suffer from a difficult labour market, John Lewis CEO Dame Sharon White said a new government must think "really hard" about getting older people back into work.

Dame White told the BBC that the record number of job vacancies is unlike any time she has seen in her career.

According to the BBC the UK has seen one million people, mostly in their 50s, leave work since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, which could be fuelling inflation. The current rate of if rising prices is the fastest in 40 years.

"Regardless of what has happened coming out of Covid, if the labour market is that tight, if we continue to have far fewer people in work, looking for work - you've inevitably got more inflation and more wage inflation," Dame White told the BBC.

"I guess I would encourage...any government to really think much more about how to we encourage more people back into work. There's not a business in the UK that's not finding it very difficult to recruit at the moment because there are so many more jobs and so far fewer people looking for work. It's a big issue."

Data from Statista shows the retail industry in the UK had approximately 95,000 job vacancies from from October to December 2021, the highest level since early 2019.

Inflation
John Lewis
Retail jobs