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A new survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association shows a restaurant industry still "in limbo," with sales down, restaurants closed and millions of employees out of work because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new data shows that consumer spending at restaurants was 34 percent lower in August when compared to August 2019, and that roughly 100,000 restaurants have closed either permanently or long-term since the beginning of the pandemic. The industry has already lost $165 billion in sales this year, and the Association expects those losses to rise to $240 billion by the end of the year.

The organization also estimates that 3 million food service employees are still out of work. Restaurant employment dropped dramatically in March and April, then rebounded strongly in May and June, but that growth has since slowed.

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