Retailers across Australia are hiring workers for their first day of the new year as part of a wave of hiring that has brought the retail industry to its knees.
Key points:The first retail jobs are expected to be filled by Christmas shoppersThe retail sector is now struggling to find the right mix of workersRetailers say they’re worried about the impact of Christmas shopping on the economy and demandFor the first time in five years, the number of retail jobs has been cut in Australia in December.
The number of jobs being filled by shoppers in December fell by 5.2 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
That was the biggest decline for any month since December 2008.
The biggest fall was recorded by workers in the hospitality and food service industries, which saw a 3.4 per cent drop in jobs.
“We’re seeing a lot of the hospitality industry really struggle in terms of hiring and the food and drink sector really struggles as well,” Retail Industry Association (RIAA) president Craig Kelly said.
“And the big question that we’re starting to ask is why is it that these sectors are not finding the right workforce to fill the job vacancies that they’re in?”
In December, there were 2,828 retail jobs, down 0.2 percentage points on the previous month.
That figure fell to 2,764 in January, but was still higher than the previous two months.
In January 2017, there was 2,532 retail jobs.
Retail jobs have been on the decline for some time, particularly in regional and regional-based areas.
“It’s been a very tough time for the retail sector in Australia,” Mr Kelly said, adding that the retail job market was “now at the lowest point in 25 years”.
“The retail industry is facing a crisis and it’s just a question of when we will start to see a return to growth in retail.”
The retail jobs report shows that about 3.1 per cent of the jobs in Australia are in the retail, catering and hospitality sectors.
The industry is also facing the highest unemployment rate in 20 years, at 10.6 per cent, with more than 5 million people out of work.
The Retail Industry Australia (RiaA) said it was “extremely concerned” about the economic and job situation in Australia’s retail sector.
“The current unemployment rate for retailers in Australia is the highest in 25 year history, and this is the first year in which the retail unemployment rate has not been above 5 per cent,” Mr Shannon said.
The RIAA says more than 20 per cent people are unemployed in Australia, and many are struggling to make ends meet.
“At the moment, almost two-thirds of retail employment in Australia has been filled by holidaymakers, with over two million retail jobs lost since Christmas last year,” Mr Scott said.
Topics:economy,jobs,community-and-society,people,work,government-and/or-politics,government,australiaFirst posted December 19, 2018 11:47:22Contact Simon Jones