Restaurants are expected to add 450,000 jobs this summer season, a 5% increase over the March 2012 employment level, according to National Restaurant Association projections. This year shows the highest summer employment numbers since 1993.

"Restaurant industry employment growth will outpace overall employment growth for the 13th year in a row this year, illustrating the key role restaurants play in the nation's economy," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the research and knowledge group for the Association. "The boost of this year's 450,000 summer jobs will propel total eating and drinking place employment to its highest on record. Overall, America's nearly one million restaurants employ nearly 10 percent of the nation's overall workforce."

America's restaurants are the nation's second largest private sector employer with nearly 13 million employees, a number projected to grow by 1.4 million positions in the next decade.

The states projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during the 2012 summer season are New York (43,800), California (32,900), Massachusetts (28,800), Texas (24,600), New Jersey (22,900), Michigan (20,100), Ohio (19,900) and Illinois (19,400).

The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2012 summer season are Maine (32% increase), Alaska (23.8 percent increase) and Delaware (20% increase).

Eating and drinking places added 444,100 jobs during the 2011 summer season, 427,100 jobs during the 2010 summer season, and 391,300 jobs during the 2009 summer season. The restaurant industry is usually the nation's second-largest creator of summer jobs, behind the construction industry.

Complete state-by-state 2012 projections, plus a national 10-year review, of restaurant summer employment can be found on the Association's website.

Summer employment is defined as the average number of eating and drinking place jobs in June, July and August. The number of summer jobs is the difference between the projected total 2012 summer employment and the March 2012 employment level. Generally, the U.S. restaurant industry begins to ramp up its summer seasonal hiring in April, and it peaks in June, July and August. Eating and drinking places account for approximately three-fourths of the total restaurant and foodservice workforce.