Some depressing facts: Nearly half of people ages 16 to 29 do not have a job. A quarter of those who do work in hospitality — travel, leisure, and, of course, food service. A study of 4 million Facebook profiles found that, after the military, the top four employers listed by twentysomethings were Walmart, Starbucks, Target, and Best Buy. The restaurant industry in particular is booming; one in 10 employed Americans now work in food service — 9.6 million of us. Those numbers are growing each year. Even though more and more laid-off, middle-aged Americans are turning to restaurant jobs, as of 2010 about two-thirds of food service workers are still under age 35. And the industry’s workforce is more educated than it was just 10 years ago. In major U.S. cities, about 9 percent more food service workers have been to college.
I feel bad for recent college grads. Not only are they becoming the service industry generation, but they are dealing with very large college loans.
College tuition and fees have sextupled since 1985 and doubled since 2001. A faster rate than healthcare, gasoline, and consumer items.