The number of new retail jobs coming to the market dropped by almost a third since the start of the year, in a sign that ‘tougher times’ may lie ahead, new data show.
The retail sector saw the biggest decline in new advertised jobs, which are down 31 per cent, recruiting firm Reed said today as it noted a ‘dramatic’ slowdown in the jobs market overall.
The data come ahead of the latest official unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics due to be published today.
Retail jobs: They dropped by almost a third since the start of the year, recruiting firm Reed said
‘The jobs market has slowed dramatically since the beginning of the year. It’s possible that seasonality has led to a disjointed period for UK businesses,’ said James Reed, chairman of Reed Recruitment.
‘As Easter fell earlier in 2018, it’s likely that holidays will have impacted growth, reflected in a marginal reduction in the number of new jobs being advertised at the end of the quarter.’
The company also noted declines in new jobs offered by energy firms, estate agents as well as leisure and tourism firms.
‘We’ve witnessed declines in key sectors such as retail, energy and estate agency. This is a clear warning sign that tougher times may lie ahead for the jobs market,’ Reed added.
The report comes as many High Street retailers such as Carpetright, Mothercare, New Look and House of Fraser have announced store closures as they struggle with falling sales.
A separate report warned that employers were finding it harder to recruit suitably skilled workers.
A survey of 1,000 employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Adecco Group showed growth in demand for workers.
Gerwyn Davies, of the CIPD, said: ‘Employers looking to expand their workforces are likely to face growing headwinds as organisations find it more difficult to source the people and skills they need.
‘This may explain why wage pressures are starting to increase following a prolonged period of relatively subdued pay growth.’
Lat month’s labour market figures showed a record 32.2million people in work, with unemployment standing at 1.4million, the lowest for more than a decade.