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We still like to do some of our own chores:

  • Despite the boom in online shopping, Americans still love to pick over and buy their food at brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Americans also like to buy stuff to fix up their homes, and do the work themselves.

These are clear messages from the chart below, researched and created by Axios Visuals Editor Lazaro Gamio. Online shopping's headline hiring is impressive on a percentage basis, soaring by 61% since 2003. But it's still only in the hundreds of thousands. Building materials stores employ 1.1 million workers, and have revitalized in recent years; grocery stores employ 2.7 million workers, a number that grew by almost 9% since 2003.

Expand chart

Data: Occupational Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why it matters: We are starting to get a clearer picture of which traditional stores might survive the shift to online shopping, and which won't: From May 2003 to May 2016, department stores lost some 295,000 jobs. That's in an industry employing 1.3 million people. But, for policymakers, other industries are stepping in to soak up some of those laid off.

The chart above uses industry-specific data from the Occupational Employment Statistics program within the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each line is the percent change in jobs in a given industry compared with May 2003.

Why we used this data: These numbers vary slightly from the monthly numbers put out by the BLS, which come from the Current Employment Statistics. This survey provides more industry detail — from the best we could tell, the CES lumps in online shopping under "non-store retailers," which includes vending machine operators and direct-selling establishments. In regards to the timeframe, 2003 was the first year in which May data was available, allowing us to compare year to year.

It's not looking good: Both surveys paint a dire picture. The monthly CES data show May 2016 department store employment at 1.3 million, down from 1.6 million in May 2003. The latest CES data — May 2017 — shows 1.27 million people working in department stores, a loss of about 30,000 over the year.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.