The retail sector has emerged as the sector that has endured the biggest decline in job growth since the start of the year and slowest growth since 2010.
According to a new study from recruitment firm Reed, there had been a 31 per cent reduction in retail jobs since the start of 2018, while those in energy and estate agents were down by 20 per cent.
Jobs in training, health, leisure and tourism were also down.
“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,” Reed chairman James Reed said.
“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.
“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.”
A raft of company restructures and administrations since the start of the year have left a trail of vacant stores and job losses.
Several household retailers – including household names New Look and Carpetright have launched CVAs year while Toys R Us’ UK operation and Maplin have collapsed completely.
Analysts predict more CVAs this year, such as House of Fraser’s confirmed one to be unveiled in June and potentially another from Mothercare.