Restaurant Industry Posts Solid Employment Gains in November

Eating and drinking places added a net 62,100 jobs last month.

Restaurant industry employment gains 1200x800 1
Despite steady gains for nearly two years, the restaurant industry remains 462,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels. Courtesy of Canva.

The restaurant industry continues to build its workforce at a slow but steady pace, with November marking the 23rd consecutive month of employment growth.

In November, eating and drinking places added a net 62,100 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That built on upward-revised gains in both September (79,500) and October (36,300).

While the industry has added nearly 2.2 million jobs in the last 23 months, it remains 462,000 jobs, or 3.7%, below pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Restaurant Association.

The association also notes that workforce recovery remains uneven across segments. The full-service segment, which saw the most significant job losses during the initial months of the pandemic, “still has the longest past to recovery.” As of October, full-service restaurant staffing levels were 7% below February 2020 levels.

Meanwhile, staffing levels at snack and beverage bars—such as coffee, doughnut and ice cream shops—in October were 13% above February 2020 levels, and the quick-service and fast-casual segments were 1% above pre-pandemic levels.

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