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New Delhi: The country's retail sector saw a pickup in hiring, reporting double-digit growth in April for the first since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the monthly Monster Employment Index (MEI) released Monday.

Retail sector hiring improved significantly growing 47% year-on-year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, it said.

“The re-opening of brick-and-mortar stores have resulted in a sharp rise in the retail job market. Easing of Covid-19 curbs has resulted in consumers frequenting recreational centres such as malls, creating a demand for retail talent," the survey said.

A positive business sentiment helped India register an overall growth of 15% year-on-year and 4% month-on-month in hiring demand in April.

The Monster Employment Index is a monthly analysis of online job posting activity conducted by Monster India. Based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large, representative selection of online career outlets, the Monster Employment Index presents a snapshot of employer online recruitment activity nationwide.

The survey covered the period between 1 April and 30 April.

As economic activities continue to surge, the job market is witnessing recovery across several sectors that were impacted by the pandemic, showcasing the highest growth in the month of April, reports the Monster Employment Index (MEI), it said.

“The aggressive comeback of the retail sector testifies to its resilience and potential as a strong contributor to our GDP," said Sekhar Garisa, CEO, Monster.com.

Retail sales were significantly impacted in the aftermath of the pandemic as consumers were stuck indoors for longer periods. Meanwhile, shopping moved online, hurting business of brick and mortar retailers. This also led to significant job losses across various organized and unorganized retail formats.

However, the latter half of the March quarter saw retailers reporting a healthy recovery in sales. This they said was marked by a return in demand for formal clothing, kid’s wear and women’s casuals. As offices resume—consumers are upgrading their wardrobes.

In March, retail sales grew 28% year-on-year while growing 12% over March 2019, according to March Retail Business Survey conducted by the Retailers Association of India (RAI). The association is yet to release data for April.

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