More than 20,000 UK retail jobs have disappeared in one year as the recession and subsequent austerity obliges consumers to spend less.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) published figures today showing that the UK retail sector had 23,000 fewer workers in September than the same month in 2010. The downturn in consumer spending has already seen a number of fatal casualties including Focus DIY, Habitat, TJ Hughes, Alexon and Jane Norman. The austere trading environment almost certainly means that fewer retailers than last year will be hiring extra staff in run up to Christmas.
With inflation currently running at 5.2%, the average family has £60/month less to spend than it did a year ago; a trend that has persisted for 18 months.
In a separate report the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR ) predicted that 27,000 "City type jobs" [business & financial services]would be lost in 2011 bringing the total employment in the sector to 288,000 against a peak of 354,000 in 2007.
Large scale public sector redundancies and a collapse of business confidence have pushed UK unemployment to its highest for 17 years with a total of 2.57 million people out of work at the end of August.
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