Food Industry Sales Up in February, Spurring Hiring on

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Sales in the food sector rose 4 percent in February from a year ago, according to a report by the Commerce Department. Strong sales have spurred hiring efforts in the food industry, reflected in jobs data on

chef jobs

We’re seeing post-holiday consumer spending translate into tangible demand for workers in the food and beverage industry.

U.S. retail and food service sales were at $421.4 billion in February, up 1.1 percent from the previous month, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report. Food industry sales were up 4 percent from 2012. Growth in the industry has triggered hiring in the food and beverage industry, as reflected on

February was a strong month for the food industry, based on figures released by the Department of Commerce. Retail and food services sales were $421.4 billion, a 1.1 percent increase over January. Sales for food services and drinking places alone grew 4 percent from a year ago. Taken together, the data indicated surprisingly robust consumer spending in light of the post-holiday season’s typical decline.

Growth in the food industry signaled that consumers were not deterred in spite of tax increases and spending cuts that have taken effect in recent months. Critics had feared that the decline in disposable income would mean that businesses like retail, the food industry, and entertainment would be negatively impacted. These types of businesses make the bulk of their profits from customers’ discretionary spending and are often the first to be cut when personal income is tight and individuals are looking to trim unnecessary spending. The fact that the food industry did not contract, but actually grew over the previous month was a resounding sign that consumer confidence remained high in spite of various financial pressures.

For many businesses in the food and beverage industry, economic activity was strong enough to warrant hiring., a leading job site for food and restaurant careers, saw an uptick in hiring and recruitment that has sustained itself in the post-holiday season. The site listed more than 2,500 openings for chef jobs at the time this press release was written. While the food industry, similar to retail, often sees its fair share of employee turnover year-round, the high levels of hiring went beyond what is typical for this time of year.

“Post-holiday consumer spending is up, and this is resulting in growth in the retail and food services industry,” said Harrison Barnes, CEO of “We’re seeing this translate into tangible demand for workers in the food and beverage sector.”

About is a job search site based in Pasadena, CA. It is a part of the Employment Research Institute and owned by A. Harrison Barnes.

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Andrew Ostler
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