Summer Jobs Heat Up

If predictions are met, it would be the first time demand has surpassed 525,000 jobs for two consecutive summers.

Young waiter working in cafe

June is just around the corner, and seasonal shifts—from the LTOs to the staff—are sure to follow.

This summer, roughly 525,000 industry jobs could be up for grabs across the U.S., according to the National Restaurant Association’s recently released “Eating and Drinking Place Summer Employment Forecast.”

The association says this is the first time on record that demand has surpassed 525,000 jobs for two consecutive summers. In 2023, the association initially projected 502,000 summer jobs, but the actual figure came in 50,000 higher, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the 2023 season only ranked second to 2015’s 555,000 summer jobs; the association has been forecasting for 26 years, skipping atypical seasons in 2020-2022. In 2019, 475,000 seasonal jobs were added.

Summer Jobs 2014 2024

Courtesy of the National Restaurant Association.

In part, the National Restaurant Association attributes the back-to-back growth to a higher number of teenagers and young adults—age cohorts most likely to work seasonal jobs, it notes—returning to the labor force. As of April 2024, more than 6.2 million 16-19 year olds and 15.2 million 20-24 year olds were in the labor force.

Regionally, the northeast is expected to see the strongest proportional job growth this June-August. As was the case last year, Maine and Alaska top the list in 2024, with projected increases of 32% and 21%, respectively. New York, meanwhile, is expected to add the largest number of jobs, at 48,600, followed by California at 41,600. Only Florida and Arizona are projected to shrink their workforces.

For the full report, click here.

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