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Restaurant Hiring Surges as U.S. Employers Add 467,000 Jobs In January

Despite a record number of COVID cases to start the year and reports that the omicron variant would slow sales, restaurants enjoyed employment gains of 108,000 in January.

U.S. employers added 467,000 jobs in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced, exceeding projections. This included employment gains of 108,000 in “food services and drinking places” — welcome news after early reports suggested that the rampant omicron variant would negatively impact the food-and-beverage industry.

The number of long-term unemployed people — those jobless for six months or more — declined to 1.7 million in January, down from four million a year earlier, according to the New York Times

“The U.S. economy has regained more than 19 million of the 22 million jobs lost in the early weeks of the pandemic,” the Times wrote, “and the unemployment rate has fallen far faster than forecasters expected.”

The 467,000 jobs added in January is a significant uptick from the 199,000 jobs reportedly added in December 2021 — indicating surprising momentum to start the new year.

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