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Retail jobs remain fragile in recession

By FashionUnited


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The recession has not left the retail industry unscathed, however job growth has seen a 0.4% increase compared to the same quarter last year. According to the BRC Bond-Pearce Retail Employment Monitor, Q1 of 2012 saw the number of retail

outlets grew by 4.9%, a net increase of 858 shops.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said "The small increase in overall retail employment for the first quarter of this year is encouraging but it is clear from our return to recession just how fragile any growth is. None of these jobs can be taken for granted. Retailers are more positive about their immediate employment intentions than a year ago, but the GDP figures confirm 2012 will still be very tough for businesses and households. If it's to rekindle growth the Government should not be putting extra tax and regulatory costs on retailers or consumers."

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, Head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Pearce, said: "This rise in retail employment year on year, in a quarter which has seen several well publicised failures by retailers, presents a polarised view of the sector with a stark divide between those who are surviving and even growing and those that have become casualties of the market. The positive change in attitude towards staffing levels by retailers also reflects a trend for cautious optimism among those who are finding their feet in the current economic climate.

"Retailers must adapt and evolve in order to survive in these tough conditions, average earnings are still falling behind inflation, and this will shape consumer behaviour for some time to come. Redundancy figures are still relatively low but if more retailers fail this will change and as the largest employer in the private sector this has a huge impact, particularly for young people, on the job market."
British Retail Consortium