Restaurants are hanging up the “Now Hiring” signs, with more than half a million jobs available– another signal the economy is getting back on track.

The Labor Department’s most recent  jobs report shows the U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May.  Meanwhile, the restaurant industry is looking to  hire about 508,000 summer workers.  Restaurants are the second-largest creator of summer jobs, right behind the construction industry.

It’s also worth noting the industry’s projected 2014 gain represents the second consecutive year in which restaurants expect to add at least half a million jobs during the summer season.

Why?   As the economy recovers, Americans are opening their wallets and eating out more.

Bruce Gundy, Chief Economist for the Association says, “In many states with tourism-driven economies, restaurants are prime destinations for both tourists and job-seekers.”

In a statement, he adds, “Eating and drinking places added a record 538,800 summer jobs in 2013, which easily eclipsed the previous high of 465,400 summer jobs added in 2011.”

5 States Projected to Add the Most Restaurant Jobs

1. California 47,600

2. New York 46,300

3. Massachusetts 30,400

4. New Jersey 28,000

5. Texas 27.200

If you’re looking to snag a job in dining, hiring starts ramping up in April, but peaks in June, July, and August.