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Supermarkets’ job creation claims exposed as sham

Supermarket bosses use massive job creation as a reason for overcoming hundreds of controversial planning applications, but full time job opportunities have crashed

The major supermarkets chains’ supposed contribution to the UK jobs market has allowed them to gain planning permission for new stores, often against local opposition, in hundreds of areas where local high street businesses are closing as a result.

However, job creation figures from their yearly reports reveal full time jobs have fallen sharply, meaning every boast of the creation of thousands of jobs is hiding cuts elsewhere. Basically, the giant new stores and extensions to existing venues are not increasing staff number to match the huge increase in sales space.

A report by the Association of Convenience Stores states the true impact on jobs is even more serious, with the erection of vast new stores killing off small food and beverage retailers in high streets all over the country, with commensurate job losses. Growth, according to the association, does not come from out-of –town mega-outlets, but from thriving high streets with a variety of smaller shops.

At the recent job summit let by PM David Cameron, Sainsbury promised to create 20,000 jobs by 2013 and Tesco stated it was on course to create 9,000. How many existing jobs were to be cut from elsewhere in the giant businesses during that time was not made clear. ACS likens the sham to supermarkets’ promotion tactics of balancing special offers on a range of products with sneaky increases on others.

A spokesman for Sainsbury denies any sharp practice as regards job opportunities, saying its employment announcement represent genuine jobs, while Tesco went even further by saying their job creation scheme was second to none in the industry. Over the past five years, he added, tens of thousands of new employees have joined the company. Again, nothing was said about how many jobs had been axed.

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