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Jobs shrink in UK retail

The UK retail sector’s share in employment is falling.
Retail’s share of employee jobs in the United Kingdom has fallen from 10.8 per cent in 2003 to 9.5 per cent now. The country now has a lower share of workers in wholesale and retail than Germany.

Retail’s shrinking share of the UK workforce which dates back to 2003 is equivalent to 3,20,000 missing employee jobs.

This steady employment share decline has been absorbed by a buoyant labor market. The absolute reduction in retail employee jobs has been small. at 28,000 since 2003, compared to a 7,50,000 fall in manufacturing employee jobs, and has been in the context of a three million overall increase in employment.

However, this long-term decline has taken a more worrying turn recently. Retail workers now have a higher rate of redundancies than any other sector. Those leaving retail are now also more likely to become unemployed than leavers from any other sector.

Ex-retail workers are also staying unemployed for longer than ex-workers from other sectors. And this increased unemployment risk has been most significant for younger workers, with three in five unemployed ex-retail workers aged under 30, despite barely a third of retail’s workforce being in this age bracket.