Thursday 25 July 2019 12:01 am

More than 70,000 retail jobs lost amid high street struggles

More than 70,000 retail jobs were lost over the last year as high street stores battle slowing sales and changing consumer habits.  

The total number of employees fell by 2.3 per cent in the second quarter, amounting to around 72,000 jobs being lost year-on year. 

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Full time jobs are being shed at a faster rate, falling by three per cent compared to a two per cent drop in part time jobs in the second quarter. 

The three months to the end of June marked the fourteenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year decline in the retail workforce.

However, June represented a slight slowing in employment decline, as in the first quarter the number of workers fell by 2.4 per cent and hours fell by 2.7 per cent. 

Store growth slowed to 1.7 per cent compared to growth of 2.3 per cent in the first three months of the year. 

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Retail is undergoing a period of profound transformation driven by changing consumer behaviours and innovative technologies.

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“As these structural changes unfold, we have seen retail employment falling across the country, with a 2.3 per cent drop as compared with the previous year; this is equivalent to around 72,000 jobs being lost. 

“Such declines are likely to endure, hastened by Government policies that continue to add costs to an industry already under immense pressure.”