WASHINGTON – Rhode Island is expected to increase the number of restaurant jobs this summer by 15.6 percent, the fourth-highest projected rate of increase in the United States, according to National Restaurant Association projections.
Statewide, Rhode Island is expected to add 5,800 summer jobs in the restaurant industry. In March, the state had 37,100 restaurant employees and the industry association’s projection tally was 42,900 summer employees, a 15.6 percent increase.
Rhode Island’s projected rate of increase is beat out only by Delaware (16.8 percent), Alaska (22.5 percent) and Maine (31.2 percent).
Neighboring Massachusetts is expected to increase its summer restaurant industry employment by 12.5 percent, or 29,000 jobs, increasing total employment from 231,300 in March to 260,300 during the summer months.
Nationally, the industry association said restaurants are expected to add 448,000 this summer season, a 4.5 percent increase over the March 2013 employment level. The projected national gain represents an improvement over the 2012 summer season, according to the report.
“Summer is the busiest season for restaurants in most parts of the country, and the stronger business leads to additional employment opportunities at all levels of a restaurant operation,” Bruce Grindy, chief economist for the National Restaurant Association, said in prepared remarks. “The projected addition of 448,000 summer restaurant jobs will be driven by a national economy that continues to improve, as well as consumers’ pent-up demand for restaurant services that remains at historically high levels.”
Generally, the U.S. restaurant industry begins to ramp up its summer seasonal hiring in April, and it peaks in June, July and August, according to the report, which added that the restaurant industry is usually the nation’s second-largest creator of summer jobs, ranking behind construction.
“In many states with tourism-driven economies, restaurants satisfy both tourists’ cravings for food, as well as job-seekers’ hunger for employment,” Grindy said.