According to ABS figures and the Australian National Retailers Association, jobs in the retail sector seem to be recovering after a horror 2008 that saw 63,500 full-time jobs lost.

The ABS analysis has shown that lower interest rates and the first economic stimulus package may have helped slow down job losses in the industry and over the last few months jobs in the sector have shown slow recovery.

ANRA CEO, Margy Osmond commented “the ABS Labour Force figures for the February quarter show that the slide in retail job losses in 2008 has halted, with a welcome if fragile recovery in jobs over the last three months”.

Throughout 2008 retailers were being hit hard and sales dried up, forcing around 63,500 full-time jobs to be shed, but Osmond has expressed that since then there has been significant growth and in particular a stronger focus on part-time staff.

“Since November, we have seen 2,900 full-time and 11,300 part-time jobs created. This is the most positive news in the last 12 months,” she said.

Another interesting piece of information to come out of the findings is the dramatic increase in jobs for people aged 45 to 54, with 18,000 jobs created.

But on the other side of this, jobs for younger Australians seem to have diminished and represent the most job losses for the sector.

“By age group, the most job losses have been amongst the 15 to 34 age bracket where 30,000 jobs have been lost,” Osmond said.

Despite some positive news from the sector, Osmond reaffirmed that jobs are still very much at risk.

“As the economy contracts this year, jobs in the sector will be under continuing pressure.”