Restaurant operators’ outlook for staffing is at a two-year high, according to new information from National Restaurant Association Chief Economist Bruce Grindy.
In a news release, Grindy said the industry continued to register robust job growth in May, while the overall economy “finally” surpassed its pre-recession peak. The overall economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, added a net 217,000 jobs in May. This marks the fourth consecutive month with gains above the 200,000 level.
“In addition, the overall economy has now surpassed its pre-recession employment peak, with growth exceeding the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. The private sector surpassed its pre-recession peak in March, with the downward trend in public sector jobs representing the difference,” Grindy said. “Restaurant employment gains remained robust in May, with the industry adding a net 31,700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. This marked the 51st consecutive monthly gain for a total of more than 1.3 million jobs."
Much of the overall restaurant job creation comes from brands’ expansion efforts, but existing restaurants are also contributing to employment gains and losses. The NRA’s May 2014 Tracking Survey showed that 25 percent of restaurant operators said they expect to employ more people in six months than they did during the same period in the previous year, while only 10 percent of operators plan to cut positions in six months.
“In addition to representing a two-year high in the proportion of restaurant operators anticipating staffing gains, it was also the strongest net increase (15 percentage points) in expected job growth since May 2012,” Grindy said. “Both full-service and quick-service operators are reporting plans to expand staffing levels, which suggests that restaurant industry job growth will continue to be broad-based in the months ahead.”