Foodservice businesses, including bars, restaurants, and cafés, lost 372,000 jobs in December, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report.
These figures are a significant increase on the 12,000 jobs lost in the sector in November, which was the first month the industry had a net jobs loss since April.
Overall, the industry lost 2.5m jobs in 2020, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant and foodservice industry was expected to provide 15.6 million jobs in 2020, according to National Restaurant Association projections. This would have represented 10% of all payroll jobs in the economy, and made the industry the second-largest private sector employer in the economy.
The figures indicate that employment numbers in the sector are on a continuing downward trend, with little to suggest that will reverse anytime soon. According to the National Restaurant Association’s November survey, 9 in 10 full service operators said their staffing levels were lower compared to pre-pandemic levels, and 54% of family and casual dining and 62% of fine dining businesses said their staffing levels were over 20% below normal.