Dollar signs. Photographer: Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg

You may remember, early this year, a spate of gloomy reportage about the coming collapse of retail jobs due to automation and online shopping. This wasn’t just a dystopian forecast: Employment in the retail sector fell for seven straight months starting in January. A streak like that hadn’t happened outside of a recession since the early days of World War II.

Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00Playback Rate1

  • Chapters

Chapters

  • captions settings, opens captions settings dialog
  • captions off, selected

CaptionsFullscreen

This is a modal window.

An error has occurred. Reload the web page or use another browser. Error 5Caption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteTransparencyOpaqueBackgroundColorBlackTransparencyOpaqueWindowColorBlackTransparencyTransparentFont Size50%Text Edge StyleNoneFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifDefaultsDoneU.S. Adds 228,000 Jobs in Nov., Jobless Rate 4.1% U.S. Adds 228,000 Jobs in Nov., Jobless Rate 4.1% xShareEmbedPermalink

U.S. Adds 228,000 Jobs in Nov., Jobless Rate 4.1%

Since August, though, retail employment is up by an estimated 28,200 jobs, with 18,700 added just in November (these numbers are seasonally adjusted, meaning that the increase reflects something more than the usual Christmas-season retail hiring binge).

Retail Jobs

Payroll employment, retail trade, seasonally adjusted

Retail Jobs

Payroll employment, retail trade, seasonally adjusted

2010201120122013201420152016201714.014.214.414.614.815.015.215.415.615.816.0 million Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Note: Y-axis does not go to zero

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Note: Y-axis does not go to zero

As you can see, it’s not much of a rebound. Retailing employment is still growing more slowly than employment in the rest of the economy. But it’s not spiraling downward. Not yet, at least.

A lot…