This comes despite the competition from online shopping and appears to mirror the improvement in the economy.
But the question it leaves is one of sustainability.
Considering the country’s debt is bigger than ever, these new jobs will only last until the next downturn and while the attention nationally is on the deficit, it is the debt that sooner or later will come back and get us.
The same disregard of debt is rife among businesses. Companies which are profitable but debt-ridden regard themselves as successful. Without clever restructuring debts will get too big and another – possibly even bigger – downturn is likely.
And the people being taken on at shops all over Reading now may be among the first casualties.