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February Jobs Up Again, QSRs Benefit?

Change in payroll jobs by Calculated Risk

WASHINGTON — Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.

Journalist Jonathan Maze thinks quick service restaurants are showing signs of an improved employment scenario. "The best way to determine the health of the restaurant industry is to look at the employment picture," he writes in Restaurant Finance Monitor. "When people lose jobs, they eat out less," he observes."When they have jobs, they eat out more. Thus, the employment improvement has helped fuel a nice run for restaurant chains as strong performance has spread beyond typically bullish performers Chipotle, McDonald's and Panera Bread."

Maze cites Sonic's sagging sales and its recent uptick. "Now that the employment is accelerating, so, too, is Sonic's sales. And that of the entire industry."

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +203,000 to +223,000, and the change for January was revised from +243,000 to +284,000.

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