Retail job numbers experience slight boost

The number of UK retail jobs has increased by 1,000 in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2020.

According to the latest ONS job figures, there were 3.4 million retail jobs in Britain across the first part of the year.

“UK retail gained 1,000 jobs as compared with Q1 2020, though this includes over half a million workers on furlough at the time,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium. “The year-on-year rise also reflects the many jobs that have been created in logistics, fulfilment, food retail as well as the many technical roles required by the huge growth in online sales, with many retailers still struggling to fill the number of vacancies in these areas. These jobs are often more productive and better paid, reflecting a trend in the industry.”

But Dickinson warned that city centre jobs, particularly in fashion outlets and other non-essential retail shops, have seen some reduction in job numbers.

“And there could be further losses for these roles, given city centre footfall still remains down on pre-pandemic levels,” she added. “Overall numbers in retail may fall in Q2 and Q3, when the Government’s furlough scheme is wound down.”

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