Colorado: No. 1 in growth in restaurant jobs

New data from the National Restaurant Association shows that Colorado this year added nearly 13,000 restaurant jobs. That’s a 6.3 percent increase, more than any other state. The industry employs more than 250,000 workers in Colorado.

Sonia Riggs, the president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, told the Denver Business Journal that she was “a little surprised” by the news, but that “knowing we’re at the top is great.”

“It’s a big impact on the economy of Colorado. And we’re hearing from people that things are going pretty well right now — which is good, because it’s an industry where, when the recession hit, people thought about their disposable income and didn’t go out as much,” Riggs told the newspaper.

The restaurant association said it found that at least 45 states have seen similar employment gains. Colorado’s 6.3 percent growth ranks it above Oklahoma, which saw a 5.6 percent rise in restaurant jobs in the first nine months of the year.

Riggs said a significant number of new restaurants opening, specifically in the Denver area, helped to boost Colorado to the No. 1 spot.

Also, as the recovery takes hold, restaurants are adding staffs in the kitchens and dining areas.

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About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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