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UK retail jobs fall by 14,000 as companies struggle to balance the books

Retail

The number of jobs in the UK retail sector fell by 14,000 year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022, new research reveals.

According to ONS data, retail vacancies were 92,000 in the fourth quarter, 10.7 percent lower than in the same period in 2021.

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The British Retail Consortium attributed the decline in retail jobs to pressures to cut operational costs amid a drop in spending.

BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson said: “Low consumer confidence and falling sales volumes meant many retailers were more cautious in hiring additional workers in the run-up to Christmas.

“This was compounded by the need to keep operational costs – and therefore prices – down during the cost-of-living squeeze. This has contributed to the lowest Q4 average retail jobs numbers in over a decade. Not all retail roles have been affected, as ongoing digital transformation has led to the creation of many new well-paid and exciting jobs.

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“However, this transformation is held back by the inflexible Apprenticeship Levy system that restricts the breadth of training that employers can offer.

“The Chancellor must use the Budget to reform the Levy and unlock business investment in upskilling employees and creating thousands of more apprenticeship opportunities across the country. With Levy reform, retail can equip itself with a workforce with skills fit for the future, leading to better wages, increased productivity, and stronger economic growth.”

SourceRetail Gazette

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