Today’s employment data was a positive for restaurants, in particular QSR.
With the exception of the 45-54 YOA cohort, which saw a sequential deterioration in employment trends in December, the age groups we monitor saw a sequential improvement in employment trends last month. The chart below illustrates the national employment trends by age bracket. For QSR, in particular, the sustained strength in employment trends among 20-24 year olds is encouraging for 4Q11 sales. The restaurant industry is a prime beneficiary of improving employment trends as our macro team’s KING DOLLAR theme (strong dollar = strong consumption = strong America) continues to play out.
The restaurant industry is still hiring but there is a notable divergence forming between quick service and casual dining employment growth trends in November, as the chart below shows (this data set is released on a lag). Casual dining employment growth seems to have stalled at just under 2% while QSR employment growth continues to accelerate.