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

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Reference period
September 2022



Tourism job numbers shown in the Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics were developed to help explain the impact of COVID-19 on tourism activity. They are currently considered experimental.

A job becomes a tourism-related job when it has a direct impact on tourism activity. A direct impact occurs where there is a direct relationship (physical and economic) between a visitor and the producer of a good or service. Indirect effects of tourism consumption is a broader notion that includes downstream effects of tourism demand and is out of scope for this publication. 

Calculation of tourism labour statistics

Tourism jobs are not directly observable and assumptions are required to calculate the Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics. The industries that produce tourism products are identified within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). Tourism value added industry ratios are then applied to the tourism industries to derive estimates of tourism employment. Updated ratios are created with each annual Tourism Satellite Account. See the Methodology of the Tourism Satellite Account for details on how the industry ratios are calculated. Updated ratios are applied to the quarterly estimates in September quarter each year and may result in revisions to historical estimates.

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. Job counts represent the number of jobs on the last day of the reference period e.g. 31 March in the March quarters.

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. 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.

The Methodology section of the Labour Account publication provides a more detailed explanation.

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.

Underlying assumptions

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

  • Jobs in tourism related industries will generally provide goods and services to both visitors and non-visitors. 
  • The contribution tourism activity makes to the economy by industry is equivalent to the contribution tourism activity has to the labour market.

  • 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 cause 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, this is not possible due to data availability issues.
  • The distribution of jobs (full-time/part-time, male/female) within the tourism share of a particular industry is consistent with the employment patterns in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for that particular industry.

Revisions to tourism labour estimates

Revisions are a necessary and expected part of accounts compilation as data sources and processes 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. 

While the benchmark ratios are currently updated each year, the full suite of information to calculate these ratios does not become available until two years after the reference period. The rapid changes brought about by COVID-19 will result in a higher level of revision than in other periods. For more information on TSA benchmarks, please refer to the Tourism Satellite Account Methodology section.

The Quarterly Tourism Labour Statistics draws on data published in the latest available issue of the Australian Labour Account at the time of compilation. 

Comparison with annual tourism employment statistics

From 2021-22, the TSA moved to using the Australian Labour Account for tourism employment estimates. Therefore, the data in this publication will be consistent with the data included the 2021-22 TSA. Both the TSA and Australian Labour Account are subject to revision. The timing of these revisions will result in small differences between the employment estimates in this publication and those shown in the annual TSA.

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 (see Labour Account Methodology and annual TSA 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.

Appendix - Tourism industry correspondence

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Tourism related industries

The following table shows the correspondence between tourism related industries and industries in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).

Tourism industry correspondence
Characteristic and connected tourism industriesANZSIC codeANZSIC industry
Ownership of dwellings6711Residential property operators
Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services451Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
Clubs, pubs, taverns and bars452Pubs, taverns and bars
453Clubs (hospitality)
Rail transport472Rail passenger transport
Taxi transport4623Taxi and other road transport
Other road transport4621Interurban and rural bus transport
4622Urban bus transport (including tramway)
Air, water and other transport482Water passenger transport
49Air and space transport
501Scenic and sightseeing transport
Transport equipment rental6611Passenger car rental and hiring
Travel agency and information centre services722Travel agency and tour arrangement services
7299Other Administrative Services n.e.c.
Cultural services89Heritage activities
90Creative and performing arts activities
Casinos and other gambling services92Gambling activities
Sports and recreation services91Sports and recreation activities
Automotive fuel retailing40Fuel retailing
Other retail trade39Motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts retailing
41Food retailing
42Other store-based retailing
43Non-store retailing and retail commission based buying and/or selling
Education and training80Preschool and school education
81Tertiary education
82Adult, community and other education
All other industries All other industries

Tourism employment industries for labour statistics

The following table shows how the tourism employment industries correspond with the tourism related industries in the table above.

Tourism employment industries
Tourism employment industriesTourism related industries
Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food servicesCafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
Clubs, pubs, taverns and barsClubs, pubs, taverns and bars
Rail transportRail transport
Road transport and transport equipment rentalTaxi transport; other road transport; motor vehicle hiring
Air, water and other transportAir, water and other transport
Travel agency and information centre servicesTravel agency and information centre services
Cultural servicesCultural services
Casinos and other gambling servicesCasinos and other gambling services
Sports and recreation servicesOther sports and recreation services
Retail tradeOther retail trade; automotive fuel retailing
Education and trainingEducation and training
All other industriesAll other industries


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All other industries

The industry category of ‘All other industries’ comprises industries that are not classified as characteristic or connected tourism industries. They are included because some of their products may be consumed by visitors.

Filled jobs

Filled jobs refer to all positions of employment that are currently filled (including self-employment). Filled jobs can be measured from either household sources (such as the Labour Force Survey), or business sources (such as the Economic Activity Survey).

Full-time workers

Employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working fewer than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week. See also Part-time workers.

Main job

Main job is the job in which most hours are usually worked. An employed person can only have one main job.

Part-time workers

Employed persons who usually work fewer than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week or were not at work during the reference week. See also Full-time workers.


Comprises the activities of visitors. See also Visitor.

Tourism characteristic industries

Industries that would either cease to exist in their present form, producing their present product(s), or would be significantly affected if tourism were to cease. Under the international Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) standards, core lists of tourism characteristic industries, based on the significance of their link to tourism in the worldwide context, are recommended for implementation to facilitate international comparison. In the Australian TSA, for an industry to be a country-specific tourism characteristic industry, at least 25 per cent of its output must be consumed by visitors.

Tourism connected industries

Industries other than tourism characteristic industries, for which a tourism related product is directly identifiable (primary) to, and where the products are consumed by visitors in volumes which are significant for the visitor and/or the producer. 

Tourism industry ratio

This is the proportion of the total value added of an industry which is related to tourism. More information on these ratios can be found in the Methodology section of the TSA publication.


A visitor is defined as any person 'taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited'.


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ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
LFSLabour Force Survey
TSATourism Satellite Account
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