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Delightfully Delectable Dining

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By: Annika Stensson

National Restaurant Association

America's restaurants employ nearly one in 10 Americans. And with the right policies, we could add another 1.3 million jobs to our economy over the next decade. When you support America's restaurants — as a patron or a legislator — you support millions of jobs and help move our economy forward.

§ 1.5 million Number of jobs created in the restaurant industry over the last 10 years.

§ 12.8 million Number of Americans employed by restaurants.

§ $1.7 trillion Restaurant industry's total economic impact in 2011.

The America Works Here campaign was created to tell the story of America's restaurant industry — the nation's second-largest private-sector employer and an engine of economic growth.

The story will be illustrated through each chapter of the campaign, whether it's about the opportunity to learn job skills or own a restaurant, or the positive impact restaurants make in communities across the country through their philanthropic activities.

Restaurants are an industry that provides millions of Americans with the opportunity to pursue their unique version of the "American Dream." This campaign highlights some of the industry's many poignant stories. We also focus on the facts and figures about America's restaurants.

Everyone can agree that America's restaurants play an important role in people's lives, whether as a place to celebrate a special occasion, a spot to grab an early morning cup of coffee, or a place to meet with colleagues over a business lunch or dinner. The "America Works Here" slogan highlights not just the fact that nearly half of all Americans have worked in the industry, but that the nation's nearly 1 million restaurants are the place where business deals are made, where people can rise from the dish room to the board room, and where organizations go for the philanthropic support that helps them do great work in local communities across the country.

The restaurant industry continued to show job growth during the month of October, according to the latest figures released by Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bureau's preliminary statistics found that 12,800 jobs were added during the month on a seasonally adjusted basis at eating and drinking places alone. That segment accounts for approximately 75 percent of the entire restaurant and foodservice workforce. The latest gain followed strong growth of 18,300 jobs in September and 21,700 jobs in August.

Economists at the National Restaurant Association said the continued uptick in employment figures signals a better economic performance, especially within the foodservice industry.

"This sustained growth within the restaurant industry reflects a gradually improving overall economic environment, said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the association's Research and Knowledge Group."Obviously employment growth is not uniform, due to localized economic infrastructures, but the trend is headed in the right direction." In the 12 months ended October 2011, eating and drinking place employment increased 1.7 percent compared with 1.1 percent for the same period a year earlier. The quick-service segment of the industry added jobs at a rate of 2.5 percent, while full-service employment rose 1.4 percent. Employment at snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars, such as coffee, doughnut and ice-cream shops, was up 2.6 percent and bars and taverns added positions at a rate of 4.8 percent. Employment at catering and mobile foodservice operations grew 3.2 percent. Conversely, foodservice contractors and cafeteria/grill-buffet units cut jobs at a 3.9 percent rate.

A total of about 263,000 jobs have been added since the economic recovery began; however, employment is still down from its prerecession employment peak.


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