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Waitstaff photoRestaurants a Bright Spot for Jobs
NRA analysis shows national foodservice job growth at over 2x rate of overall economy

From the National Restaurant Association - Washington, D.C.

A new analysis by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) shows that the restaurant industry continues to post solid job growth at more than double the rate of the overall economy. Since the employment recovery began in March 2010, the restaurant industry has added 645,000 jobs nationally, including nearly 16,000 jobs in September. In the 12 months ending September 2012, eating and drinking place employment jumped 2.9 percent, more than double the 1.4 percent increase in total U.S. employment during the same period.

Restaurants have been the third largest private sector job creator since the employment recovery began, with current industry staffing levels standing 263,000 jobs above the pre-recession peak. The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with a workforce of nearly 13 million – almost 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.

“Employment growth is at the center of the economic recovery, and our industry is one of the leaders,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

The NRA projects that the restaurant industry nationwide will add 1.4 million positions in the next decade, reaching 14.3 million. The fastest growing positions include supervisors and food-and-beverage-serving workers. The restaurant workforce skews younger, with 16- to 24-year olds holding nearly 4 in 10 foodservice positions, and more than half of restaurant workers being under the age of 30.

To help develop high quality employees that will be the industry leaders of tomorrow, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart® program supports more than 90,000 high school students across the nation through culinary and restaurant management education.

On a local level, Wisconsin’s ProStart® program supports more than 4,000 high school students annually. And, the WRA Education Foundation will award more than $35,000 in scholarships to students at the Celebration of Excellence on October 14, giving them a jumpstart on successful careers.

Eating and drinking places (restaurants and bars) are the primary component of the restaurant and foodservice industry, which the U.S. Census Bureau and the NRA define as that which encompasses all meals and snacks prepared away from home.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960