US Restaurants to Add More than Half-Million Summer Jobs

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

“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,” said Bruce Grindy, chief economist for the Washington, DC-headquartered association. “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,” continued Grindy.  “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 months are California (47,600), New York (46,300), Massachusetts (30,400), New Jersey (28,000), Texas (27,200), Ohio (22,400) and Michigan (21,600).

The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2014 summer season are Maine (+33.2%), Alaska (+21.0%), Delaware (+18.0%), New Hampshire (+16.%) and Rhode Island (+15.%).

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 US 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.

Founded in 1919, the NRA is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 million employees. The association’s annual trade show, which concluded on May 20 in Chicago, marked the third consecutive year of registration growth as 63,876 people visited the four-day event – up 2% over 2013. On the exhibitor side, total square footage increased by 5.7% and number of exhibiting companies grew by 4.3%, resulting in totals of 612,170 and 2,168, respectively.