Strong food shop performance has boosted jobs, retailers say

 
Tim Wallace
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RETAIL employment rose in the final quarter of 2011 as food shops prospered, reversing declines seen in the previous six months, figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showed yesterday.

The final three months of the year saw a 0.5 per cent rise in retail employment compared with the same quarter of 2010 – equivalent to 4,074 additional jobs.

Over the same period the number of retail outlets grew by one per cent.

The rise marks a sharp turnaround from the 0.8 per cent decline in jobs in the third quarter, year on year.

Employment by food retailers rose in each month of the final quarter.

However, non-food shops appear to have hired temporary Christmas staff for shorter periods of time than in 2010, to avoid the extra red tape resulting from new agency workers’ rules.