Retail: Employment figures slump to new lows with 150,000 jobs predicted to go by end of the year
Retailers were cautious about hiring extra workers in the run up to Christmas, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has claimed after ONS figures show that the number of roles were down 14,000 year on year in the last leg of 2022.
“Low consumer confidence and falling sales volumes meant many retailers were more cautious in hiring additional workers in the run up to Christmas,” Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC said.
It comes as the latest ONS Labour Market figures reveal that there were just 3.12m retail jobs in quarter four of 2022 down 14,000 year-on-year – the lowest Q average retail jobs numbers in over a decade.
The winter period was a particularly volatile time for the sector as shoppers were hesitant to hit the highstreets after they got their first taste of soaring inflation and high living costs.
While footfall increased 7.3 per cent over the holiday season, it quickly fell off again after the festive period ended.
Furthermore, a growing trend of retailers decreasing their physical portfolio or vanishing off the highstreet altogether has created a difficult jobs market for the sector.
Data by the Centre for Retail Research has estimated that some 15,00-18,000 stores are likely to be closed by December 2023 – which will see around 150,000 jobs lost.
So far this year, Paperchase has collapsed into administration slashing 800 job roles and H&M also revealed it was shutting a number of stores across the UK due to a “rapid change in consumer behaviour”.