In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy breaks down state-level job growth in 2012. The restaurant industry registered broad-based job growth across the nation in 2012, led by solid gains in the District of Columbia, North Dakota and Maryland. In addition, restaurant job growth outpaced the overall economy in 48 states and D.C.
The restaurant industry added jobs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2012, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The District of Columbia set the pace, adding restaurant jobs at a robust 6.5 percent rate. North Dakota and Maryland posted solid gains of 5.8 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.
In terms of total jobs added, California led the way with a net increase of 49,200 positions in 2012. The Texas restaurant industry added a net 38,400 jobs in 2012, while Florida’s restaurants added 29,900 jobs.
In 48 states and the District of Columbia, restaurant industry job growth outpaced the overall economy in 2012. The differential between restaurant job growth and total job growth was largest in the District of Columbia at 5.7 percent. Restaurants in Maryland (+3.8%), Connecticut (+3.6%), New York (+3.3%) and Florida (+3.1%) also added jobs at rates well above their overall economies in 2012.
Although North Dakota’s restaurant industry registered the second-strongest job growth in the nation in 2012, it finished well below the state’s overall employment gain. Driven by the oil and gas boom, North Dakota’s total employment jumped 8.3 percent in 2012, which is more than five percentage-points above second-ranked Utah’s job growth of 3.4 percent.
On a national level, eating and drinking places added jobs at a 3.4 percent rate in 2012, which was double the 1.7 percent gain in total U.S. employment.
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State Job Growth: 2011 to 2012
Eating and Drinking Places* versus Total Non-Farm Employment
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
*Iowa and West Virginia figures are for the Accommodation and Food Services sector and New Mexico and South Dakota figures are for the Leisure and Hospitality sector, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish Eating and Drinking Place employment figures for those states.