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Restaurants and bars adding workers at fast pace, report says

April 16, 2012|By Hugo Martin

If you are looking for work, your best odds of landing a job may be in the restaurant industry.

In the 12 months ending in March, employment in eating and drinking establishments grew by 3.2%, more than double the 1.5% growth in total U.S. employment for that same period, according to a monthly report from the National Restaurant Assn.

Eating and drinking places added 103,100 jobs in the first three months of the year, following a gain of 101,400 jobs in the last three months of 2011, according to the report.

“The restaurant industry strongly contributes to the health of our nation’s economy by driving job growth across industry segments, and providing rewarding career and employment opportunities for millions,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Assn., in a statement.

Since March 2010, eating and drinking places have added 562,600 jobs, surpassing the pre-recession peak for overall staffing in the industry by more than 180,000 jobs, the association reported. A survey of restaurant owners also found that 24% plan to increase staff over the next six months, while only 7% plan to reduce staff in that period.

Though many restaurant jobs offer only hourly wages and little or no benefits, Sweeney said most positions in the industry can lead to prosperous careers.

“Restaurants are the cornerstone of career and entrepreneurship opportunities,” she said.

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