Restaurants are expected to add 425,000 jobs this summer season, a 4.6 percent increase over the March 2011 employment level, according to National Restaurant Association (NRA) projections released today.
This year shows the strongest summer employment projections since 2007, underscoring that the restaurant industry is heading into better economic times.
America's restaurants are the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer and job creator—with nearly 13 million employees, or almost 10 percent of the U.S.workforce—a number projected to grow by 1.3 million positions in the next decade.
“The restaurant industry has outperformed the overall economy when it comes to job creation for the past year, proving its role as a key driver to economic recovery and growth in America,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the research and knowledge group for the association. “Seasonal employment is an important indicator of industry performance, as well as a stimulus for local economies across the nation.”
The restaurant industry is usually the nation’s second-largest creator of summer jobs—ranking behind the construction industry only. Eating and drinking places added 401,600 jobs (a 4.4 percent increase) during the 2010 summer season, 391,300 jobs (4.2 percent increase) during the 2009 summer season, and 352,900 jobs (3.7 percent increase) during the 2008 summer season.
Overall, every additional million dollars in restaurant sales generates 34 more jobs for the economy. More than nine in 10 restaurants (93 percent) are small businesses with less than 50 employees.
The states projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during the 2011 summer season are New York(39,700), California(35,100), Massachusetts(27,100), New Jersey(23,200), Illinois(21,000), Michigan(20,200), Ohio(19,700), and Texas(18,600).
The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2011 summer season are Maine(31.1 percent increase), Alaska(23.0 percent increase), and Delaware(20.6 percent increase).
Summer employment is defined as the average number of eating and drinking place jobs in June, July, and August. The number of summer jobs is the difference between the projected total 2011 summer employment and the March 2011 employment level. Generally, the U.S.restaurant industry begins to ramp up its summer seasonal hiring in April, and it peaks in June, July, and August.