By Daniel Hunter

The BRC-Bond Dickinson Retail Employment Monitor (REM) indicates that 72% of the sample intends to increase staffing levels in the run-up to Christmas.

According to our sample, 8% suggested that they will decrease staffing levels in the next three months, unchanged on the previous year. A fifth of the sample suggest that they will keep staffing levels unchanged in the next three months.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "While these are still positive results, and I am particularly encouraged by the growth of full time employment over the last quarter, it is true that overall growth has slowed a little since the very strong results we reported last time. This slowing of growth supports the trend we have seen in recent BRC figures for gentler growth in sales and a slight fall recently in the number of people visiting our shops.

"The overall trend remains that jobs in retail are growing. In fact, we have reported positive growth in the number of jobs the retail sector offers every quarter for the last two years. Our figures are based on a robust three month rolling average so they demonstrate the continuing importance of the industry in employing more people than any other private sector area.

"This quarter has also seen another increase in those retailers looking to hire more people. With 72 per cent of those we surveyed looking to recruit more people in the run up to Christmas, this represents a good opportunity for anyone looking to start a career in retail over the coming months."

Christina Tolvas-Vincent, Head of Retail Employment at business law firm Bond Dickinson, said: "The importance of the retail sector for UK employment is demonstrated once again by this report. The continued growth is underpinned by the strongest growth in full time contracts for more than three years. With the growing debate about employment contracts, it is interesting that retailers are creating more full time jobs as well as the more flexible part time or seasonal jobs that you might traditionally associate with the retail industry.

"Food retailers continue to outpace non-food retailers in terms of hours worked and store numbers; the success of the food sector is a crucial driver in the overall growth of the retail sector and this shows no sign of changing.

"Seasonal hiring is on most retailers' agendas, with around three quarters planning to increase staffing levels in the next three months and with redundancy levels significantly lower than they were earlier in the year, the retail sector will be providing sought after opportunities for those looking for work."

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