20% of retailers intend to decrease staffing levels in the next three months compared with 8% at the same time last year. 68% of the sample will keep staffing levels unchanged, down on 75% this time last year.
Director general of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, says: “The equivalent number of full-time jobs remained more or less static in March with a slight fall of 0.1% recorded when compared with the same period last year.
“More conspicuous was how employment in non-food retail continued to recover. Not only were more hours worked across the industry but more people were working in an industry that’s busy meeting higher levels of demand. This performance is a result of an increasingly benign economic environment and a further sign that retailers feel more confident about investing for the future. That’s to be welcomed after an extremely tough trading period in recent years."
Christina Tolvas-Vincent, head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson, says: “There are encouraging signs with the small rises in jobs and stores in March. In a squeezed retail market with intense competition and tight margins, keeping employees happy and loyal is important. Retailers have to ensure they stay on top of a raft of rapidly changing employment rules, whilst managing their large workforces as efficiently as possible.”