The last few years have been tough ones for the restaurant industry; driven by the global recession, both sales and employment have been modest at best.

That’s why it was so nice to see this post from Statistics Canada, reported by Restaurant Central: according to the data, restaurants are the third-largest job creators in the country, growing by 28,000 jobs since 2010. As the article points out, restaurants have generated more jobs than manufacturing, mining or retail.

Restaurants now employ 6.5 percent of the Canadian workforce. That’s 1.1 million people. Not bad, eh?

What’s the reason? Well, more restaurants are opening up, for one thing, but consumer spending is also up—and that’s a magic combination for job creation.

Interestingly, restaurants continue to find it tough to hire skilled help—which means that, if the workforce were available, restaurants’ contributions to job creation might be even higher.

Food for thought.

What do you think? Did you increase your staff last year?

Image credit: ralph and jenny