The first quarter of 2014 has seen a boost in retail jobs, with the number of full-time equivalent jobs rising by 1.8% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period last year.
In figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Bond Dickinson, it showed that the rise in new jobs were mainly driven by the non-food sector as a result of improvements in confidence.
The figures also revealed that full-time hours outgrew that of part-time hours, confirming the rising confidence in the retail sector.
The number of new retail outlets also grew by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2014, with food retailers leading the way in new shops.
Director General for the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson said that retail’s contribution to the economy was underlined by the growth in new jobs, adding, “As the UK’s largest private employer, it’s particularly heartening to see increases across all types of role, including full-time hires. This demonstrates increasing confidence.”
Head of Retailer Employment at Bond Dickinson, Christina Tolvas-Vincent said that the numbers were a departure from recent years as non-food retailers have driven the increase in full time jobs, something usually attributed to supermarkets and other shops in the food sector.
However, she pointed out, “The only blot on the buoyant landscape appears to be a fall in hours worked amongst food retailers, despite a growth in store numbers. An increasing trend of smaller stores would support this but it will be interesting to see how these figures play out in the extremely competitive world of food retail.”