During the early stages of the recession there were all sorts of “structural” theories of unemployment. One popular theory claimed that housing had been overbuilt, and hence the job losses in home-building were due to “reallocation” of labor, not falling AD. That idea never made much sense as an overall theory of unemployment, as aggregate employment held up well during the great housing crash of January 2006 to April 2008.
Another theory pointed to the “end of retail,” the idea that retailers like Border’s and Circuit City were becoming obsolete dinosaurs in the age of Amazon. It is possible that retailing will gradually decline over time, but we now know that the huge drop in retailing jobs during 2007-09 had nothing to do with the end of retailing:
A loss of 1.2 million retailing jobs during 2007-09. And it was mostly due to falling AD.