289,000 high street jobs lost in last 10 years, research warns

More than 280,000 high street jobs have been lost over the last decade, the vast majority of which were held by women, according to new research.

A new analysis published by the RSA Future Work centre claims that cashiers, bank clerks and hairdressers have been among the hardest hit by labour market shifts in the last 10 years.

According to the research, more than 289,000 traditional roles have been lost since 2010, 81% of which were held by women.

This includes 75,000 retail cashiers (67,000 women); 65,000 post office and banking clerks (41,000 women); 64,000 sales assistants (77,000 losses from women while men increased by 13,000); 34,000 hairdressers and barbers (28,000 women), 27,000 shelf fillers (12,000 women) and 23,000 launderers (11,000 women).

But the analysis also shows that van drivers, software programmers and care workers have enjoyed the biggest jobs growth in the last decade.

The fastest-growing professions by net employment change were computer and software programmers (+162,000, or 72% growth), general admin (161,000, or 26%), finance managers and directors (115,000, or 51%), van drivers (102,000, or 54%) and marketing directors (100,000, or 56%).

‘Automation is already here, and its effects are uneven,’ said RSA Future Work Centre head, Alan Lockey.

‘The carnage on the high street has hollowed-out many jobs traditionally held by women, but areas of growth related to e-commerce, such as van driving, are going more to men. This is having a profound effect on individuals, families and society,’ added Lockey.

‘In the 2020s, technological change will transform the labour market yet further. As more personal data becomes available, we could expect to see professions like behavioural scientists and data analysts rise in the tables in a decade’s time as the ‘precision economy’ develops.

‘Even doctors and solicitors could find themselves employed by Google Lawyers and Apple Healthcare.

‘We also predict a rise in work focused on relationships – in established fields like education or health and social care, but also new roles such as digital detox gurus helping ordinary people navigate social media in the ‘empathy economy’. This might sound more attractive but brings with it increased emotional labour – which may end up falling once again mostly on women.’

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart


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