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3 Takeaways From the Latest in Restaurant News

Jobs are up!

The U.S. economy added 22,200 jobs in eating and drinking establishments in May, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compiled by the National Restaurant Association.

That’s in line with a dip in the overall unemployment rate that month, according to BLS, which means good news for the economy as a whole, but potential challenges for managers trying to retain employees.

Job openings are projected to keep climbing

By 2024, job openings in food preparation and service are expected to grow by 343,500 in the U.S., meaning that sector has the fourth-highest projected job opening rate, behind personal care aides, registered nurses and home health aides, according to the latest BLS statistics.

As many people know anecdotally, many people say working in a restaurant is how they got their start. In fact, 1 in 3 adults had their first work experience in the food service business, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Most growth expected in Arizona and Florida

Arizona has the highest expected rate of job growth in restaurants through 2026 for any U.S. state, at 18.9 %, topping Texas at 17.9% and Florida at 17.4%, according to data compiled by the National Restaurant Association. California is rated at 10.1% growth, while New York is on the lower end, at 7.2%.

But as for overall restaurant sales growth, Florida takes the cake out of any state at 7.4%, according to those numbers. That state is one of a swath of Southern and Western states, with a smattering in the northeast, that are leaders in restaurant sales growth.

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