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Retailers are boosting staff numbers in anticipation of an improvement in consumer spending, according to the Australian Retailers Association.                 retail

The industry group’s executive director, Richard Evans, said surveys of association members showed a 12 per cent jump in employment for small and medium-sized retailers this month, painting a much more positive picture than figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.

The number of people employed in the retail sector fell by less than 0.1 per cent last month compared with February, on a seasonally adjusted basis, but the ABS also reported an increase in underutilisation—the proportion of the workforce that is either unemployed or not working as many hours as it would like.

The rate of underutilisation among female workers was 9.1per cent last month, compared with 6.4 per cent for men, which the ABS attributed to the larger proportion of women working in industries with high levels of casual employment, such as retail.

However, Mr Evans said most retailers were holding on to skilled staff in preparation for rising demand, with 68 per cent reporting no change in employment levels in the past quarter.

“A further 16 per cent of retailers actually increased their number of staff during the same period,” he said.

“Retailing works in cycles, and although the sector has experienced a downturn, good retailers are doing their best to hold on to skilled staff as consumer confidence continues to grow and a new type of consumer emerges.”

The same trend was in play among the bigger retailers, with David Jones boosting staffing levels around the Mother’s Day shopping period after the delivery of the federal government’s fiscal stimulus package in April led to a sharp rebound in sales.

Mr Evans said the stimulus package and lower interest rates meant most consumers had more cash available to spend, but “negative and fear-filled commentary” had fuelled a tendency among consumers to cut discretionary spending in favour of saving or paying off debt.

This meant shoppers would be in a better position to spend when confidence picks up again—with the ARA forecasting an improvement as soon as the September quarter.

Source  :  www.careerone.com.au

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cute-dogWEST Australian dog owners are getting busy grooming their four-legged friends as The Sunday Times and PerthNow search for the state’s best-looking canines.   towel-cute-dog-illusion

 

 

More than 200 entries have been emailed in so far for WA’s top dog categories.  

Two-year-old bernese mountain dog Borris, weighing in at 36kg, is in the running for honours as best-looking big dog. His owner has called him a “gentle giant”.

Mel Birch and her children Mikey, 13, Mason, 9 and Taylah, 7, of Helena Valley welcomed their second family shih tzu, Moshi, two years ago.

Moshi will be competing in the category of cutest small dog.

“His best qualities would be his super-long eyelashes and his ability to fly like Superman – his front legs just leap out when he jumps off ledges and it makes everyone laugh,” Ms Birch said.

“People think he’s a girl because of how long his eyelashes are, but he’s just a pretty boy.”

Long-haired miniature dachshund Piper is another heart-melter in the cutest small-dog category.

There are categories also for ugliest dog and the dog that looks most like its owner. ElwoodUglyDog

dogThe winner of each category will receive $100.

www.news.com.au

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