• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Fears of restaurant recession overblown

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

News RSS

Fears of restaurant recession overblown

Continued labor market strength means fears that the restaurant industry is in a recession are overblown, according to the NRA’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy.  His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.

Job growth surprised to the upside for the second consecutive month, based on preliminary figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The economy added a net 255,000 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis in July, which came on the heels of a robust gain of 292,000 jobs in June.

The two-month print of 547,000 jobs was the strongest since the last two months of 2015, and was well above the average gains of 151,000 jobs during the first five months of the year.

Reading through to the restaurant industry, the latest jolt to the labor market will likely bolster consumer spending in the months ahead.  Restaurant sales are closely tied to employment trends, and the continued labor market strength means fears of a restaurant recession are overblown.

At the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, real (menu-price-adjusted) restaurant sales didn’t start declining until a full four months after the job losses began.  Recent trends suggest that job losses are not on the horizon, which should help allay concerns that the restaurant industry’s expansion has run its course.

Total eating and drinking place sales were up 2.2 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis between June 2015 and June 2016, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  These sales gains were driven largely by the steady, if unspectacular, growth in the economy.  

While the restaurant industry certainly faces a host of challenges, the health of the labor market is not at the top of the list.  As long as the economy avoids a recession, the restaurant industry will avoid a recession. 

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

New report

Spot Ad right

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156