The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) chief economist Bruce Grindy breaks down the latest employment trends.
“The restaurant industry continued to add jobs at a steady pace in May, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Eating and drinking places added a net 17,000 jobs in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, which followed a gain of 17,800 jobs in April.
“The recent gains came on the heels of a loss of 8,900 jobs in March, which represented the only restaurant employment decline in the last 63 months.
“The employment recovery from the Great Recession is now more than five years in, and the restaurant industry has been one of the economy’s strongest job creators during this span. Eating and drinking places added a net 1.7 million jobs since the start of the jobs recovery, which ranks only behind the professional and business services sector [3.1 million jobs] and the healthcare and social assistance sector [1.9 million jobs].
“Overall, the 19 percent increase in restaurant industry jobs since the end of the recession was more than double the 9 percent gain in total U.S. jobs during the same period.
“In addition, wage growth in the restaurant industry outpaced the economy and many of the other top job creating sectors during the economic recovery. Between February 2010 and April 2015, the average hourly earnings of nonsupervisory restaurant employees increased 12.9 percent.
“In the total private sector, average hourly earnings of nonsupervisory workers rose 10.6 percent during the same period.
“Hourly wage growth among nonsupervisory restaurant employees was also stronger than their counterparts in the professional and business services sector [8.5 percent] and healthcare and social assistance sector [11.5 percent] during the post-recession period.”