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National Restaurant Association - Colorado leads restaurant job growth

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Colorado leads restaurant job growth

Restaurant industry job growth remains broad-based on the state level, with employment gains outpacing the overall economy in the vast majority of states.  Colorado led the way with a robust 6.3 percent increase in restaurant jobs through September, followed by solid gains in Oklahoma (5.6%) and Georgia (5.0%), according to the NRA’s chief economist Bruce Grindy.  His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.

The restaurant industry continues to post broad-based employment gains on the state level, with job growth outpacing the overall economy in the vast majority of states.  On a year-to-date basis through September 2014, restaurants added jobs in 45 of the 47 states* for which figures are available, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   

Colorado led the way with a robust 6.3 percent gain in restaurant jobs through September, putting the Centennial State on pace to register its strongest annual increase in restaurant employment since 1995. 

Oklahoma added restaurant jobs at a solid 5.6 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through September 2014, while Georgia’s restaurant industry posted a 5.0 percent employment gain. 

In terms of total jobs added, Texas set the pace with a net increase of 39,900 restaurant jobs on a year-to-date basis through September.  The California restaurant industry added a net 35,900 jobs, while Florida’s restaurants added 26,600 jobs. 

In 40 states and the District of Columbia, restaurant industry job growth outpaced the overall economy through the first nine months of 2014.  The differential between restaurant job growth and total job growth was largest in Connecticut at 3.9 percent.  Restaurants in Oklahoma (+3.8%), Alabama (+3.7%), and Colorado (+3.6%) also added jobs at rates well above their overall economies through September. 

Although North Dakota’s overall economy led the nation with a strong 4.6 percent employment gain on a year-to-date basis through September, its restaurant industry added jobs at a lower 3.4 percent rate. 

Wyoming and Vermont were the only states to experience declines in restaurant employment through the first nine months of 2014.

On the national level, eating and drinking places added jobs at a 3.0 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through September 2014, more than a full percentage-point above the 1.8 percent gain in total U.S. employment. 

*Figures are not available for Iowa, New Mexico, South Dakota and West Virginia, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report Eating and Drinking Place employment figures for these states.  

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