In a bit of good news for the U.S. economy as well as for the restaurant industry in particular, a recent National Restaurant Association (NRA) study predicts the industry’s demand for new workers will exceed the demands in most of the rest of the U.S. workforce markets over the next 10 years. The association’s research also shows that the industry’s workforce is changing, the attitudes of consumers and employees are changing, and that the workforce demographic is moving up too. In a move to help develop and retain a younger work force in the future, the restaurant industry plans to create more entry-level jobs and develop strategies for more overall career advancement opportunities. The NRA predicted the restaurant industry will be able to supply over 14 million new jobs by the year 2020.
The NRA said the young adult demographic is declining as a major proportion of the overall labor force and the restaurant industry will have to deal with the fact that the average age of the national workforce is getting older too. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people over 55 will make up over 25% of the workforce by the year 2018. The NRA recommends restaurant owners abandon past models of employer- employee relationships and help develop new ways to interact beneficially with career-oriented staff. Although any new jobs are great for the economy, the association stressed that helping employees develop their ongoing educational goals and career paths will likely be a key component to the success of all restaurants in the future.