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Restaurant staffing improves in October, data finds

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) said staffing levels in the limited-service segment are ‘much closer’ to its pre-pandemic peaks

Eating and drinking places added a net 119,400 jobs in October on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It revealed this is nearly four times more jobs than the net payroll growth of just 31,000 in August and September combined.

Between April 2020 and September 2021, full-service restaurants added more than 3.2 million jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), staffing levels in the limited-service segment are “much closer” to their pre-pandemic peaks.

Staffing levels at snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars including coffee, donut and ice cream shops were only 3,000 jobs (or 0.4%) below February 2020 readings.

The NRA said other segments have a “much longer road” to reach pre-pandemic staffing levels; employment counts in the cafeterias/grill buffets/buffets segment (-50.8%), foodservice contractor segment (-39.4%), bars and taverns segment (-20.1%) and catering and mobile foodservice segment (-19.1%) are still below their February 2020 levels.

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