Retail jobs cut as households slash spending

People are seen browsing the stalls at the annual Book Festival next to Zappeio Hall, central Athens, yesterday, which runs through to September 27. Data made public yesterday on Greece’s retail sector showed labor conditions are deteriorating as retailers cut back on jobs to offset lower sales. The National Statistical Service said a general index measuring the number of people employed in retail in the second quarter of 2009 fell 1.7 percent year-on-year. The drop translates into some 11,200 employment positions being lost, given that 659,273 people worked in retail, according to recent research. A drop in consumption has been a key factor in bringing the Greek economy to a halt this year, as households slash spending to get through the crisis.