Retail employment in the UK increased by 1% in the third quarter of 2013 compared with a year earlier, according to the data released by British Retail Consortium (BRC).

In the third quarter of fiscal 2013, the number of outlets increased by 1.6%, aided by food retailers. The agency noted that full-time contracts grew at the fastest rate for over three years.

According to BRC-Bond Dickinson Retail Employment Monitor (REM), 72% intend to increase staffing levels in the run-up to Christmas while 8% suggested that they will decrease staffing levels in the next three months, remaining unchanged from the previous year.

A fifth of the sample surveyed said that they will keep staffing levels unchanged in the next three months.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said the overall trend shows spike in job environment in retail.

"In fact, we have reported positive growth in the number of jobs the retail sector offers every quarter for the last two years.

"Our figures are based on a robust three month rolling average so they demonstrate the continuing importance of the industry in employing more people than any other private sector area," Dickinson added.

Retail Employment head Christina Tolvas-Vincent said the importance of the retail sector for the UK employment is demonstrated once again by this report.

"The continued growth is underpinned by the strongest growth in full time contracts for more than three years. With the growing debate about employment contracts, it is interesting that retailers are creating more full time jobs as well as the more flexible part time or seasonal jobs that you might traditionally associate with the retail industry."