|The January jobs report exceed pretty much |
- 257,000 jobs added in January, the best three-month jobs gain in 17 years
- Wages grew a healthy 2.2 percent -- the biggest wage increase since 2008
- The slight uptick in unemployment (to 5.7 percent) is a sign of confidence in the job market.
- The Labor Department also raised its estimates of new jobs in November and December 2014. November's number -- 423,000 -- was the strongest month of private-sector hiring since 1997.
In other positive economy news, The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the fast casual industry is up 500 percent since 1999 -- more than 10 times the growth seen in fast food. In fact, fast casual now controls five percent of all restaurant traffic. That's good news for our clients -- brands like Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Captain D's -- who all reported strong 2014 growth and are continuing to expand across the country in 2015.
For the sake of a shameless plug:
- Captain D's and Tropical Smoothie Cafe both reported all-time high AUVs in 2014 and increased same-store sales (4.1 percent and 11.14 percent, respectively).
- Burger 21 is planning to open 10 restaurants in 2015 -- almost doubling its current size of 15 locations.
- McAlister's Deli opened 19 restaurants in 2014 and is planning 30 new locations in 2015 in cities like Chicago.
So job growth is strong, wages are up, people are confident and fast casual is killin' it. Happy Friday, all.