Projected Restaurant Job Growth

Projected Restaurant Job GrowthDespite a flat third quarter, projected restaurant job growth is positive and trending in the right direction.

According to National Restaurant Association (NRA), the industry added 27,000 jobs in the third quarter, considerably fewer than the second quarter gain; however, restaurant job growth is expected to be above three percent again for the year, as it was in 2012.

The third-quarter decline mirrors the total job picture throughout the private sector. Overall, the net gain of 387,000 jobs across all private sector industries was the weakest performance since the second quarter of 2012. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the leisure and hospitality industry (that includes restaurant reporting) saw the largest dip in employment numbers in September, capping off a flat third quarter for the industry.

Positive Trends

However, the restaurant industry continues to show a positive overall growth trend, and the 3.2 percent job growth anticipated for 2013 will be double that of the gain in jobs in the overall economy. According to NRA’s chief economist, Bruce Grindy (as quoted in the organization’s press release), “”The projected 2013 gain will represent the 14th consecutive year in which restaurant industry job growth outpaces the overall economy, and the third consecutive year in which the industry registered job growth in excess of 2.5 percent. In comparison, the overall economy hasn’t posted job growth above 2.5 percent since 1998.”

The restaurant and foodservice industry employs 13.1 million workers and is the country’s second larger private sector employer.

Best Places for Restaurant Growth

The Nation’s Restaurant News reports that BLS expects total employment to grow by over 14 percent in the next seven years. Of course, that growth will not be evenly distributed. For restaurants with an eye on expansion or new locales (and in following the growth of higher paid workers and their paychecks), the following areas are expected to experience the largest growth of high-paying jobs by 2020:

New York-White Plains, NY; Wayne NJ – New York City has created an initiative to attract greater numbers of bioscience, research, and health care technology companies to the area. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 929,200.)

Springfield, MA – Boasting easy access to both Boston and New York City, as well as a lower cost of living and high number of colleges and universities, this area is already home to enterprises that support medical, renewable energy, and aerospace industries. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 12,000.)

Baltimore-Towson, MD – Like Springfield’s proximity to major metropolitan areas, the Baltimore-Towson area’s proximity to D.C. brings federal agencies and anticipates growth in financial services, information technology, and defense. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 180,000.)

Washington D.C. – The area already has a highly educated workforce and expects to increase industries beyond the federal government, including biotech, cybersecurity, and shipping as well as a well-established hospitality base. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 490,000.)

Baton Rouge, LA – The state’s capital projects job growth of 15.5 percent by 2020 with administrative and waste services expected to increase over 30 percent. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 37,700.)

San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX – The nonprofit group SA2020’s goal is to improve the area’s attractiveness and is targeting the education, hospitality, health care, aerospace, IT, and biosciences industries. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 159,000.)

El Paso, TX – Expanding military jobs in conjunction with Fort Bliss expansion and the proximity to Mexican manufacturing operations in the free-trade zone is expect to boost the El Paso economy. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 43,100.)

Colorado Springs, CO – Continued growth in aerospace and defense jobs are projected as well as clean technology, wellness, and back-office support. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 42,800.)

Tacoma, WA – Its Pacific coast position is creating a gateway for trade with China, plus it’s already home to employment giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and Starbucks. (Anticipated number of new jobs by 2020: 285,200.)

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