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Restaurants Added 1.4 Million Workers in May, Says Stunning New Jobs Report

Eating establishments are rehiring now that the nearly nationwide lockdown has ended.
Server at the restaurant writing name and order for curbside service with mask in keeping social distance for coronavirus covid-19

Very encouraging news was revealed today as restaurants across the country are reopening and massively rehiring much of the staff laid off or furloughed by the CDC's stay at home orders.

In a rather stunning report about unemployment rates and jobs added for the month of May, The United States Labor Department revealed that 2.5 million jobs were added, and that the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent. This is far better than what economists expected and indicates a financial and employment turnaround from the coronavirus pandemic may be closer than originally thought.

The report revealed especially good news for the restaurant business: Employment in the food and drink industry increased by 1.4 million for the month of May, which is about half of all gains in U.S. employment. This is a remarkable rebound from a previously moribund industry. In the two months prior, the restaurant industry was hit remarkably hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that followed. In April and March, the industry lost 6.1 million jobs and led to hundreds of locationsand even one regional chain—shut down permanently.

As of now, 41 states have allowed restaurants to serve customers in their dining rooms presuming they follow strict CDC guidelines, and a few more are allowing outdoor dining. The reopening of restaurants is leading to a resurgence of a cratered U.S. economy. Foodservice industry outlet QSR adds important context:

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Nearly all states have allowed dining rooms to open, which means several brands have brought back furloughed employees. For example, Chili's has reopened more than 600 of its company-run dining rooms and brought back 40 percent of the 30,000 workers it furloughed. Companies like Outback parent Bloomin' Brands, Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants, and Cracker Barrel have also reopened hundreds of dining rooms in recent weeks.

The increase in restaurant hiring in May reveals roughly 7.6 million restaurant workers are on payroll in the industry. This is a big increase from 6.25 million, but still far short from the 11.7 that were on payroll in March before the lockdown started. It just goes to show, the country is slowly on the mend. And supporting your favorite restaurants as they begin to reopen will not only an enjoyable experience, but it can also help spur an economic rebound.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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