A historical perspective.....
Since 1950 there have been only three times at which
unemployment has risen as fast as it has in the last 12 months, the
summer for 1954, summer of 1958, and the spring of 1975.
Where we are at currently....
We can now add to the list the Winter of 2009.
Unemployment spiked to 25 year high increasing 3.3% in just 12
months. That equates to 4.4 million jobs lost during the last 12
What's the impact on Foodservice....
The toll on the food service industry is also
unprecedented. This is the first time the industry has experienced
more the two months of consecutive jobs losses and the food service
industry has now shed jobs for the last seven months straight.
These job loses have totaled 124,000 jobs since January 2008. It is
important to keep in mind that changes in employment are a lagging
indicator of what is happening to the economy.
While the US has shed 3% of its workforce the food service
industry has only shed 1% of its work force during the last 12
Impact on our workforce competitors...
Retail has shed 600,000 jobs about 3.5% of its workforce
during the last 12 months. Employment growth in health care has
been unimpeded by the downturn and has added almost 500,000 jobs in
the last 12 months. Education has been a bit more of a mixed bag
but has continued to grow adding 100,000 jobs in the last 12
months. Grocery and Convenience stores have been essentially flat
losing only 50,000 and 5,000 jobs respectively.
If we look to the employment data to see who is currently
being the hardest hit by the economy food service is much healthier
than retail overall, but the impact on us is much more severe that
it has been on grocery or convenience stores.
Most alarming though is the fact that health care and education
as industries continue to grow despite the downturn and are winning
over workers in the current battle to be the industry of choice for
the US workforce. We can not assume that they will all return to
foodservice jobs when we need them on the other side of this unique