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Over 420,000 retail jobs lost since 2010, new data reveals

Sophie Smith
09 October 2023

More than 420,000 traditional retail jobs have been lost since 2010, with the GMB Union saying this figure will increase unless economic reforms are made.

New GMB data shows that the number of retail jobs has dropped 420,242 since the Conservatives took power - a decline of 28.4%.

The highest number of jobs lost by nation and region include:

  • South East - 69,758
  • Scotland - 65,478
  • Yorkshire and Humberside - 48,214
  • West Midlands - 45,386
  • London - 44,437

To address this, the GMB Union is urging the Labour Party to replace the UK’s "archaic" system of business rates, alongside better protections for workers who are made redundant.

It is also calling for tougher sentences when retail workers experience violence and other abuse.

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: "High street retail is at the heart of our communities, but customers and workers are denied a fair deal. Better support for communities and workers who face redundancy is urgently needed.

"That’s why GMB is calling on the Labour Party to enact its pledge to replace the business rates system, strengthen redundancy rights, and establish minimum ownership requirements for critical national retailers.

"Otherwise, the high street faces terminal decline."

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