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June 5 - New Unemployment Data: Restaurants and Bars Remain Industry Most Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis



June 5, 2020


Jeff Solnet


New Unemployment Data: Restaurants and Bars Remain Industry Most Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, new monthly unemployment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that the restaurant industry remains the most impacted by COVID-19-related job losses. Restaurants and bars have been hit harder than any other industry, representing the largest share of job losses in both March and April. The Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) issued the following statement on the newly released figures from the BLS: 

“Restaurant workers continue to make up the largest share of America’s jobless yet. Congress needs to pass a relief package specifically designed to protect our industry. Some independent restaurants are able to reopen, but the odds of staying open have grown nearly insurmountable. Restaurant owners face massive losses in revenue due to social distancing guidelines and increasing costs of supplies, and risk being forced to close again at any time. Without further assistance, Congress risks leaving 11 million Americans who work in independent restaurants unemployed, not including the five million employed through the businesses that supply them, including farmers, fishermen, and beverage distributors. 

“The changes Congress made to the Paycheck Protection Program are a good start, but the program is only a six-month solution to what's become a year-long problem. America’s 500,000 independent restaurants are the heartbeat of a nearly $800 billion economy. We generate billions in tax revenue in all 50 states, create middle class jobs at a rate three times faster than the rest of the economy, and give many young people and immigrants their first chance to become financially independent. If America wants to give independent restaurants a fighting chance to keep their doors open and return to full employment, then Congress must consider the $120 billion independent restaurant stabilization fund proposed by Rep. Earl Blumenauer." 

The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country who have built a grassroots movement to secure vital protections for the nation’s more than 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Coalition’s leadership team includes José Andrés, Kevin Boehm, Sean Brock, Andrew Carmellini, Ashley Christensen, Amanda Cohen, Tom Colicchio, Nina Compton, Rosa Garcia, Suzanne Goin, Gregory Gourdet, Will Guidara, Mason Hereford, Sam Kass, Mike Lata, Camilla Marcus, Ivy Mix, Kwame Onwuachi, Patrick Phelan, Naomi Pomeroy, Steven Satterfield, Michael Shemtov, Nancy Silverton, Frank Stitt, Bobby Stuckey, Caroline Styne, Jill Tyler, and Andrew Zimmern. Learn more at