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Retail jobs grew 3.7% in the second quarter of the year

Retail employment enjoyed the strongest growth since 2009 in the second quarter of 2013, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Figures from the BRC-Bond Dickinson Retail Employment Monitor (REM) published today showed that retail employment rose by 3.7% in the second quarter when compared with a year earlier.

Sixteen percent of retailers surveyed – predominantly food retailers – said they planned to increase staffing levels over the next three months, compared with 13% last year, while 4% said they would decrease staffing levels in the same period – on a par with last year.

“These new jobs provide further evidence that a consumer recovery is starting to take shape”

Helen Dickinson, BRC

The monitor also showed an increase of 263 stores in the sample in the second quarter of 2013, driven entirely by the grocery sector and a tendency towards opening smaller-sized convenience stores. However, the number of non-food stores declined for the 12th consecutive quarter.

“This is the best result we’ve seen for retail jobs since 2009 and it adds to the recent positive news on the labour market from ONS,” said British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson.

“While we know that there is considerable regional variation in retail performance and footfall, these new jobs provide further evidence that a consumer recovery is starting to take shape. Retail employs more people than any other private sector industry, and is a major source of jobs for younger people.”

The report found that redundancy levels also fell from an all-time high in the previous quarter; however the rate for June remained at elevated levels, at the third highest ever recorded. 

The REM is representative of large and small retailers, covering both food and non-food sectors. The sample includes data for over one million employees.

Recent data from ONS indicated that the number of people in employment rose by around 16,000 between March and May 2013 to 29.7 million.