Restaurants are expected to add 508,000 jobs this summer season, according to National Restaurant Association (NRA) projections released today.  The projected 2014 gain would represent the second consecutive year in which restaurants add at least 500,000 jobs during the summer season.

“Summer is the busiest season for restaurants in most parts of the country, and the uptick in business creates additional job opportunities at all levels of a restaurant operation,” says Bruce Grindy, chief economist for NRA. “In many states with tourism-driven economies, restaurants are prime destinations for both tourists and job-seekers.”

“Driven by an improving economy and consumers’ elevated levels of pent-up demand for restaurants, 2014 will represent only the second summer on record with a gain of at least a half-million restaurant jobs,” Grindy adds. “Eating and drinking places added a record 538,800 summer jobs in 2013, which easily eclipsed the previous high of 465,400 summer jobs added in 2011.”

The states projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during the 2014 summer season are California with 47,600 jobs; New York with 46,300; Massachusetts with 30,400; New Jersey with 28,000; Texas with 27,200; Ohio with 22,400; and Michigan with 21,600.

The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2014 summer season are Maine with a 33.2 percent increase, Alaska with a 21.0 percent increase, Delaware with a 18.0 percent increase, New Hampshire with a 16.5 percent increase, and Rhode Island with a 15.7 percent increase.

The restaurant industry is usually the nation’s second-largest creator of summer jobs, ranking only behind the construction industry.

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 2014 summer employment and the March 2014 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. Eating and drinking places account for approximately three-fourths of the total restaurant and foodservice workforce.