Although job growth was somewhat choppy during the first half of the year, both the restaurant industry and overall economy are on pace to improve on their 2014 employment gains. Eating and drinking places will likely register their fourth consecutive year with job growth of at least 3.5 percent, while the overall economy is on track to post its strongest annual employment gain since 1999, 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 accelerated in June, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Eating and drinking places added a net 29,900 jobs in June on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the strongest monthly gain since February.
Meanwhile, job growth in the overall economy came in close to expectations in June. The economy added a net 223,000 jobs in June, which followed mixed results during the first five months of the year.
Although growth was somewhat choppy during the first half of the year, both the restaurant industry and overall economy are on pace to improve on their 2014 employment gains. Total U.S. employment was up 2.2 percent on a year-to-date basis through June, up slightly from the 1.9 percent gain posted in 2014. If the current trend holds, it would represent the nation’s strongest annual employment gain since 1999.
For eating and drinking places, the 3.7 percent year-to-date growth puts the restaurant industry on track to register its fourth consecutive year with job growth of at least 3.5 percent. In addition, it would represent the 16th consecutive year in which restaurant industry job growth outpaced the overall economy.
Job growth within the restaurant industry was broad-based in the first half of 2015, with several of the major segments registering strong gains. Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars – including coffee, donut and ice cream shops – were among the leading sectors of the economy with a robust 6.4 percent employment gain on a year-to-date basis through May (segment figures are one month lagged). Quickservice restaurants (3.8 percent) and tableservice restaurants (3.5 percent) also added jobs at rates well above the overall economy during the first five months of the year.