The struggles of High Street retailers like Thorntons and TJ Hughes is being reflected in the number of advertisements for jobs in the retail sector, a recruitment agency has said.
Forde May Consulting said an analysis of jobs that were advertised in the Belfast Telegraph's Jobfinder made "worrying" reading.
Agency head Dr Forde May said there had been 175 retail jobs advertised last year, compared to 115 jobs in the 12 months to June this year.
Northern Ireland is expected to be hit by decisions by Thorntons and Carpetright to close some stores to cut costs, while homegrown furniture retailer Dekko closed its doors earlier this year.
Value department store TJ Hughes has also gone into administration, putting up to 150 full and part-time jobs at risk in its Belfast store.