National Restaurant Association Reports Continued Restaurant Job Growth, Outpaces Overall Job Growth Rate by Two to One

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According to a new analysis by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) shows that the restaurant industry continues to serve as a leading creator of jobs, outpacing overall U.S. employment growth. In the 12 months ending June 2012, eating and drinking place employment jumped 2.7 percent, more than double the 1.3 percent increase in total U.S. employment during the same period. Restaurants added a net 116,000 positions in the first half of 2012.

Overall, restaurants have added more than 575,000 jobs since the employment recovery began in March 2010, with current industry staffing levels standing 193,000 jobs above the pre-recession peak.Restaurant industry job growth slowed along with the rest of the economy during the second quarter of 2012, but remains a net contributor to the economic recovery. The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with a workforce of nearly 13 million – almost 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.

“While restaurant industry job growth is not immune to the ups and downs of the overall economy, our industry has continually been at the forefront of job creation for the last two years,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Restaurant industry sales are gaining for the third consecutive year, spurring the nation’s nearly one million restaurants to staff up to meet the increasing demand for away-from-home meals. This illustrates the strength and resilience of our industry, as well as the wealth of opportunity it offers.”

According to the NRA’s latest monthly Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey (June 2012), restaurant operators continue to plan for staffing increases in the second half of 2012.

The NRA also projects that the industry will add 1.4 million positions in the next decade, reaching 14.3 million. The fastest growing positions include supervisors and food-and-beverage-serving workers.

Posted by Ann Chen

07/14/12