Tourism Satellite Accounts: quarterly tourism labour statistics, Australia, experimental estimates methodology

This is not the latest release View the latest release
Reference period
September 2021



This release presents experimental quarterly statistics on tourism related employed persons and jobs. Information produced in this publication draws on data published in the latest available issue of the Australian Labour Account. Labour statistics in this release relate to the direct impact of tourism only. A direct impact occurs where there is a direct relationship (physical and economic) between the visitor and producer of a good or service.

Calculation of tourism labour statistics

Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics are derived for each tourism characteristic and connected industry based on a concordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) industries, which is the classification used in Labour Account, Australia. Tourism labour estimates are then calculated by applying a tourism value added industry ratio to each tourism industry. These ratios are calculated during the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) benchmark process (2006-07, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2016-17 and 2018-19). More information on this process can be found in the Methodology section of the 2020-21 TSA benchmark publication.

Jobs and employed person counts are stock measures and represent the number of jobs or employed persons on the last day of the quarterly reference period e.g. 31 March in the March quarters.

Australian Labour Account

The Australian Labour Account provides a conceptual framework through which existing labour market data from different sources can be confronted and integrated, with the aim of producing a coherent and consistent set of aggregate labour market statistics. It incorporates labour input aggregates (persons, jobs and hours) which describe supply and demand in the labour market, as well as labour related payments (such as income and costs). The framework covers all types of employment including employees, self-employment and contributing family workers.

The concepts and definitions underlying the Australian Labour Account are built on International Labour Organisation fundamentals, and expands them to ensure consistency with the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA). The result provides a set of core macro-economic labour market variables derived from existing data through data integration, with both an industry focus and time series dimension.

A more detailed explanation of the Australian Labour Account can be found in the Methodology section of the Labour Account publication.

Part-time/full-time and male/female tourism labour statistics

Part-time, full-time, male and female employment ratios are derived for each tourism characteristic and connected industry using ratios derived from Labour Force Survey (LFS) data. These ratios are applied to the tourism labour account filled jobs and main jobs estimates for each tourism industry. The ratios from the May LFS are used to calculate June quarter tourism statistics, August LFS are used to produce September quarter tourism statistics etc.

These estimates are not available for employed persons because people may have multiple jobs and the sum of employed persons in the Australian Labour Account across industry divisions does not equal the total number of people employed in the whole economy. See the 'Persons quadrant' section of the Australian Labour Account: Concepts, Sources and Methods 2019 for more information. As a result, aggregate male/female and full-time/part-time splits for employed persons cannot be published.

Underlying assumptions

A number of assumptions underlie the compilation of the Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics. These include:

  • Persons employed and jobs in tourism related industries will generally provide goods and services to both visitors and non-visitors. Therefore, tourism employment can be derived by applying tourism value added industry ratios to employment estimates for each industry.
  • The structure of the economy generally changes slowly over time, therefore employment generated by tourism in each industry is directly related to value added generated by tourism in the benchmark year. This assumption holds well except when there are sudden economic shocks that result in structural changes to the economy, e.g. a health pandemic, and/or significant changes in input costs (such as fuel). Ideally, the tourism value added ratios would be updated every quarter in the Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics to reflect the current situation, however, data availability means this is not possible practically.
  • The distribution of part-time, full-time, male and female employment from the Labour Force, Australia, Detailed for a given industry is consistent with the distribution of part-time, full-time, male and female employment and jobs within the tourism share of that particular industry.

Revisions to tourism labour estimates

Revisions are a necessary and expected part of accounts compilation as data sources are updated and improved over time. As more up-to-date information, such as tourism value added industry ratios, become available after each TSA benchmark process, they will be incorporated into the quarterly tourism labour estimates. Please note, due to the rapid changes brought about by COVID-19, there will be a coefficient benchmark update each year until at least 2023; therefore more revisions can be expected over this period of time. For more information on TSA benchmarks, please refer to the annual Tourism Satellite Account Methodology section.

This quarterly experimental publication draws on data published in the latest issue of the Australian Labour Account available at the time of compilation of the tourism estimates. Source data revisions are incorporated into TSA in line with the TSA revision policy. Information on revisions to the Labour Account can be found in the Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Oct 2019.

Comparison with annual tourism employment statistics

Estimates in this release will differ to the levels of Tourism employed persons published in the annual release of the TSA due to the different underlying data source and the frequency of publication. Please see the Feature Article in March quarter 2020 release for more information.

Measurement error

Every effort is made to minimise the impact of measurement error through robust methods, data confrontation and other quality control processes. However, measurement error is inherent and unavoidable in all statistics. Some possible sources of measurement error in the Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics include:

  • Measurement error from input data such as the Labour Account (please see Measurement error in Labour Account Methodology) and annual Tourism Satellite Account (please see Satellite Account Methodology).
  • Modelling error, which includes errors in modelling assumptions used to construct the Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics estimates. Care should be taken during times of rapid change as modelling error may increase.

Some industries will be subject to additional modelling error. Users should exercise additional caution when interpreting results for the following tourism industries:

  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
  • Clubs, pubs, taverns and bars
  • Rail transport
  • Road transport and transport equipment rental
  • Travel agency and information centre services

Appendix - Tourism industry correspondence

Show all


Show all

Quality declaration - summary

Institutional environment








Show all

Back to top of the page