Belfast Telegraph

Christmas brings little joy as retail jobs decline

By Alan Jones

The number of jobs in retail fell at the end of last year as firms hired fewer seasonal staff and cut overtime, a report shows.

Food retailers drove the decline in full-time employment in the final quarter of 2016, said the British Retail Consortium. The biggest reduction was in December, when there were 4.6% fewer full-time jobs than the previous month.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "While the end of the year remains the busiest time for workers in retail, these figures are consistent with the long-term trend of retailers reducing the number of hours being worked to adjust to big structural changes in the industry.

"In the last quarter, seasonal overtime was scaled back much more than in previous years, reflecting the relative fall in importance of Boxing Day relative to pre-Christmas spend and Black Friday."

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