Workforce

Restaurants add 26K jobs in December

The industry accounted for roughly 1 of 9 jobs that were created during the month. The national unemployment rate dipped to 3.5%.
Restaurant jobs December
Employment is still about 450,000 positions short of pre-pandemic levels. / Photograph: Shutterstock

Eating and drinking places added 26,300 jobs during December as total U.S. hiring for the month hit 223,000, hammering down the national unemployment rate to 3.5%, new government data show.

The hiring by restaurants and bars marks a deceleration from the pace of November, when the sector added 59,400 positions, according to the latest monthly jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With December’s addition, total employment within eating and drinking places rose to just under 12 million, still 450,400 positions short of the sector’s total workforce in February 2020.

Still, the sector generated about 1 of every 9 jobs that were created nationwide during December.

The BLS information was released a day after the National Restaurant Association revealed that 19% of the nation’s restaurants are deferring recruitment because of prevailing economic conditions. That data was based on a survey conducted in November.

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