Restaurant industry employment continued its upward trajectory in July, adding at least 20,000 jobs for the 17th time in the last 18 months. The industry is on pace to post job growth of at least 3.5 percent for the fourth consecutive year – a streak that hasn’t happened since the mid-1980s, according to the NRA’s chief economist Bruce Grindy. His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.
Restaurant industry job growth remained steady and solid in July, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Eating and drinking places added a net 29,300 jobs in July on a seasonally-adjusted basis, marking the 17th time in the last 18 months in which the industry added at least 20,000 jobs.
The recent gains put the restaurant industry on track to add jobs at a strong 3.7 percent rate in 2015. This would represent the fourth consecutive year with restaurant job growth of at least 3.5 percent – a streak that hasn’t happened since the mid-1980s.
Within the restaurant industry, job growth has been broad-based in 2015. Foodservice contractors led the way during the first half of the year, adding jobs at a robust 6.8 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through June. In addition, this segment’s solid 2015 growth is following an even stronger 7.7 percent payroll expansion in 2014.
Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars – including coffee, donut and ice cream shops – added jobs at a healthy 6.6 percent rate during the first half of 2015. If this pace continues, it would represent the fourth consecutive year in which snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars posted job growth of at least 5 percent.
The catering and mobile food service segment has continued its steady expansion in 2015, with employment growing at a strong 6.2 percent on a year-to-date basis through June.
Quickservice restaurants added jobs at a solid 3.8 percent rate during the first half of 2015, while the fullservice segment expanded payrolls at a 3.5 percent rate.