Unemployment declines in the restaurant industry in May

The U.S. gained 2.5 million jobs in May and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 per cent, an indication that loosened regulatory controls helped push the economy forward, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports.

In May, employment in the food and beverage industry increased by 1.4 million, which accounted for about half of U.S. employment. The sector lost 6.1 million jobs in April and March. Almost all states have required the dining rooms to open, which ensures that many companies have called back furloughed workers. For example, Chili’s has reopened more than 600 of its company-run dining rooms and brought back 40 per cent of the 30,000 workers it furloughed. “Restaurant workers continue to make up the largest share of America’s jobless yet,” said the Independent Restaurant Coalition in a statement. “Congress needs to pass a relief package specifically designed to protect our industry.”

The drop in unemployment has come as a surprise to economic forecasters, QSR reported. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNN last month that May’s unemployment rate could be more than 20% and even higher in June. According to Dow Jones, analysts predicted 8.3 million jobs to be cut and the unemployment rate to be about 19.5 per cent.