With Melbourne Cup Day behind us, we’re officially in the home stretch to Christmas. It’s been an intense build-up, with the ABS September trading figures showing a powerful 18% increase in spending over the same period last year.
The Albanese Government has handed down its first budget, which points to some tough times ahead, with inflation to peak at 7.75% and economic growth forecast to slow next financial year.
While staff shortages are continuing to grow in retail, the skills crisis is also deepening according to the National Skills Commission. The 2022 Skills Priority List was released in the past week, which shows shortages in 286 occupations, up from 153 in 2021.
There’s less than 12 weeks till Christmas – our busiest time of year – and not surprisingly, staff shortages are the most pressing concern as businesses ramp up recruitment to meet demand.
As we enter the all-important Christmas trading quarter, retail sales have continued on their record-breaking run. The August figures released by the ABS today show sales up 0.6% compared to the previous month and up 19.2% on the same time last year.
The National Day of Mourning will be held tomorrow to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II, with the states and territories clarifying trading conditions for the public holiday.
As we head towards the next global Climate action milestone with the COP27 event in November, the ARA is focused on delivering a raft of new member support services in the sustainability space.
It’s truly been a watershed month for our sector. Last Wednesday, we brought our sector together for our inaugural ARA Gala – the first time we’ve gathered our diverse community together to celebrate the resilience of retail. It was an epic night and you can get a taste of the event in this video.
The Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit gets underway in Canberra tomorrow with around a hundred representatives from the business, union and community sectors gathering for two days of discussions.
The Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit is fast approaching, and pleasingly the ARA will have a seat at the table, representing the interests of our members and our $400 billion industry.