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Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by The GC Team

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UK retail sector employment falling

The UK retail sector, which employs some 2.9 million people and is one of the biggest sources of employment, lost 62,000 jobs last year, more than any other industry and representing a 2.2% decline in total headcount.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that these job losses have occurred at a time when overall unemployment is at its lowest in more than four decades, but when online shopping has grown to 15% of total retail spending.

Some of the losses are attributable to one-off events such as the collapse of BHS, which accounted for 11,000 jobs, but factors such as the rise in the National Living Wage, and the continuing growth in online shopping, which has caused many high street retailers to cut shopfloor staff and switch investment to online operations, is apparently contributing to a longer-term trend.

By contrast, transport and storage – both important elements in online shopping logistics – achieved a substantial 6.7% increase in employment.

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