Economic modelling by the National Retail Association (NRA) suggests the number of people employed in the retail sector in December ticked over the 1.3 million mark for the first time in Australian history.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said the data suggested as many as 13,000 new jobs had been created during December, bringing the total number of people working in retail in the lead-up to Christmas, to 1.312 million.
“These figures suggest retail has now become one of the strongest performing sectors nationwide, as other industries, like mining, continue to contract,” he said.
“Coupled with the low Australian dollar and hefty postage fees, it’s also becoming far less appealing to shop from overseas retailers, as the overall cost can end up being markedly higher in the long run.
“While this number of jobs is likely to fall back below the 1.3 million mark this month, we do believe there will be exciting opportunities for retailers to build on this momentum through the first half of 2016.
“We’re seeing major changes in the way the retail industry operates in Australia, and these latest figures show that consumer confidence is strong.”
Mr Evans said as online shopping continued to boom, Australian retailers exploring new and innovative ways to do business were on track for a successful year.
“This, in turn, is creating a retail job market that is unlike any we’ve seen before, and will bring even greater opportunity for jobseekers through 2016,” he said.