The foodservice industry is forecast to add 425,000 jobs over the summer, reflecting the healthiest summer employment picture since 2007, the National Restaurant Association said today.
The projected increase, which comes amid gloomy predictions about the health of the overall economy, marks a 4.6-percent hike over the March 2011 employment level.
The unemployment rate for teens aged 16- to 19-years-old — who make up much of the summer labor force — stands at 24.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate is 40.7 percent for African-American teens.
“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,” said Hudson Riehle, the NRA’s senior vice president of the research and knowledge group.
“Seasonal employment is an important indicator of industry performance, as well as a stimulus for local economies across the nation.”
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According to the NRA, eating and drinking places added 401,600 summer jobs for a 4.4-percent increase in 2010; 391,300 jobs for a 4.2-percent hike in 2009; and 352,900 jobs, a 3.7-percent increase, in 2008.
The NRA’s most recent Restaurant Performance Index
The NRA said that the states that are expected to add the most eating-and-drinking-place jobs this the summer are:
• New York: 39,700
• California: 35,100
• Massachusetts: 27,100
• New Jersey: 23,200
• Illinois: 21,100
• Michigan: 20,200
• Ohio: 19,700
• Texas: 18,600
States expected to show the greatest proportional employment increases for the summer of 2011 are:
• Maine: 31.1 percent
• Alaska: 23.0 percent
• Delaware: 20.6 percent
The NRA characterizes summer employment as the average number of eating-and-drinking-place jobs in June, July and August. The number of seasonal jobs reflects the difference between the expected total of 2011 summer jobs and the March 2011 employment level.
The foodservice industry starts to step up summer seasonal hiring in April, the NRA said.
Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].