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National Restaurant Association - Economist's Notebook: Restaurant job growth set to double overall economy in 2012

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Economist's Notebook: Restaurant job growth set to double overall economy in 2012

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy analyzes the latest trends in restaurant industry job growth.  The restaurant industry added jobs for the 22nd consecutive month in November, and remains on pace to post its strongest employment gain in eight years.

The restaurant industry added jobs for the 22nd consecutive month in November, according to preliminary 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 8,600 jobs in November on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  Through the first 11 months of 2012, restaurants added nearly 236,000 jobs.

Overall, restaurants added jobs at a robust 3.0 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through November 2012, more than double the 1.4 percent increase in total U.S. employment during the same period.  If this growth continues as expected, 2012 will mark the strongest restaurant employment gain since 2004, when the industry added jobs at a 3.1 percent rate.

Growth in the restaurant workforce has been broad-based in 2012, with major industry segments registering job growth at rates well above the overall economy. The snack and nonalcoholic beverage bar segment led the way by adding jobs at a significant 4.8 percent rate on a year-to-date basis through October 2012 (detailed industry figures are one month lagged). During the same period, quickservice restaurants added jobs at a 3.8 percent rate, while the fullservice segment registered job growth of 2.7 percent.

Bars and taverns added jobs at a 2.3 percent rate through October, while the caterers and mobile food service segment (1.4 percent) and foodservice contractor segment (1.2 percent) also registered job growth.

Eating and Drinking Place Job Growth

Annual Restaurant Job Growth.gif

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Restaurant Association projection for 2012

For additional analysis of restaurant industry trends, log on to Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).

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