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National Restaurant Association - Economist's Notebook: Quickservice operators are driving industry job growth

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Economist's Notebook: Quickservice operators are driving industry job growth

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy breaks down the latest restaurant industry employment trends.  The restaurant industry continues to outpace job growth in the overall economy, led by solid gains in the quickservice segment.

Restaurant industry job growth continues to outstrip the overall economy, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Eating and drinking places – the primary component of the restaurant industry which accounts for roughly three-fourths of the total restaurant and foodservice workforce – added a net 21,200 jobs in August on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the 31st consecutive month in which the industry added more than 10,000 jobs. 

Although employment gains within the restaurant industry have been generally broad based, quickservice operators added the most net new jobs in recent months.  On a year-to-date basis through July 2013, the quickservice segment added jobs at a robust 4.7 percent rate, which is well above the 3.3 percent gain in the overall eating-and-drinking place segment.  This translates to quickservice operators being responsible for more than half of the total increase in restaurant jobs over the last year. 

The snack and nonalcoholic beverage bar segment – including coffee, donut and ice cream shops – posted similar growth, adding jobs at a 4.3 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through July. 

Foodservice contractors (managed service providers) posted the strongest industry job growth in percentage terms, with payrolls expanding at a robust 7.0 percent rate through July. 

Meanwhile, the fullservice restaurant segment added jobs at a 2.2 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through July 2013, which is still more than half-percentage-point above job growth in the overall economy during the same period. 

The cafeteria/grill buffets/buffets segment was the only major category to shed jobs in recent months, as payrolls fell 3.3 percent year-to-date through July.

Read more from the Economist’s Notebook and get additional analysis of restaurant industry trends on Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).

Restaurant Industry Employment Trends
Figures are not seasonally-adjusted

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Restaurant Association
Note: Segment-level figures are one month lagged behind overall eating and drinking place figures

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