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

Experimental estimates of quarterly tourism employment and jobs to help explain the impacts of COVID-19 on tourism activity.

Reference period
September 2021
Released
22/12/2021
  • Next Release 18/03/2022
    Tourism Satellite Accounts: quarterly tourism labour statistics, Australia, experimental estimates, December 2021
  • Next Release 23/06/2022
    Tourism Satellite Accounts: quarterly tourism labour statistics, Australia, experimental estimates, March 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

In September, there were 554,800 tourism jobs. This was:

  • 56,200 (-9.2%) less jobs than June 2021
  • 73,400 (-11.7%) less jobs than September 2020
  • 1 in 25 (4.0%) filled jobs in the economy

Overview

Updated data from the 2020-21 annual Tourism Satellite Account has been incorporated in this release. These improvements to source data and methodology have resulted in large revisions in some industries. For more information, please refer to the section on Changes and revisions in this issue.

Change in number and percentage of jobs, original series (a)
Jun-20 to Sep-20Sep-20 to Dec-20Dec-20 to Mar-21Mar-21 to Jun-21Jun-21 to Sep-21Sep-20 to Sep-21
Tourism5,7002,700-5,700-14,200-56,200-73,400
(0.9%)(0.4%)(-0.9%)(-2.3%)(-9.2%)(-11.7%)
Whole economy327,000530,00072,800113,200-394,300321,700
(2.5%)(3.9%)(0.5%)(0.8%)(-2.7%)(2.4%)

(a) Change on preceding quarter, except for the last column which shows the change on corresponding quarter of the previous year

Filled jobs

All references to "jobs" are referring to "filled jobs" unless otherwise specified. For information on the various measures of jobs (filled job, Labour Account main job and Labour Account secondary job), please refer to the Glossary in Methodology.

Key COVID-19 dates

2020

  • January-March: Bushfires heavily impacted various regions across Australia. States of emergency were declared across New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory
  • 20 March: Australia's international borders closed to all non-citizens and non-residents
  • 21 March: Domestic travel restrictions began. Tasmania first state to require people entering to self-isolate for 14 days from arrival
  • 22 March: Prime Minister announced Stage 2 lock down changes, which were progressively implemented
  • 30 March: Prime Minister announced JobKeeper program
  • First week of May: JobKeeper payment from ATO commenced
  • Mid-May: Initial progressive easing of social distancing and trading restrictions commenced
  • July-August: Progressive stage 3 and 4 restrictions commenced for different parts of Victoria
  • July-September: State border restrictions frequently reviewed and progressively updated (tightened/relaxed)
  • 28 September: JobKeeper extension (with modified eligibility test) commenced
  • October: Restrictions in Victoria progressively eased
  • 16 October: Travellers from New Zealand allowed to fly into Australia as part of the one-way quarantine-free travel bubble agreement.
  • November-December: Alternation between re-impositions and easing of restrictions for various local government areas affected by local outbreaks in South Australia and New South Wales, and closing and reopening of various State and Territory borders

2021

  • January-March: Alternation between re-impositions and easing of restrictions for various local government areas affected by local outbreaks in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, and closing and reopening of various State and Territory borders. Continuation of the one-way quarantine-free travel bubble for travellers flying into Australia from New Zealand. Some temporary suspensions were put in place during the quarter due to localised COVID-19 outbreaks
  • 11 March: Prime Minister announced the $1.2 billion Tourism Aviation Network Support package
  • 28 March: JobKeeper program ended
  • 19 April: 2-way Australia/New Zealand travel bubble commenced
  • From late April: State border and COVID-19 restrictions were frequently reviewed and updated to contain COVID-19 outbreaks in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria
  • Late May-June: Temporary disruption to quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia
  • 23 July: The New Zealand and Australian travel bubble was suspended
  • July-September: COVID-19 Delta strain outbreaks in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory resulted in state/territory lockdowns for most of the September quarter 2021. Other jurisdictions closed interstate borders to these affected areas 

Tourism industry

Change in number and percentage of jobs by industry, original series (a)
Jun-20 to Sep-20Sep-20 to Dec-20Dec-20 to Mar-21Mar-21 to Jun-21Jun-21 to Sep-21Sep-20 to Sep-21
Accommodation1,5005,500-8009,300-11,2002,800
(1.9%)(7.0%)(-0.9%)(11.1%)(-12.1%)(3.6%)
Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services18,8007,20013,200-3,100-26,700-9,400
(10.0%)(3.5%)(6.2%)(-1.4%)(-11.9%)(-4.5%)
Clubs, pubs, taverns and bars6,4001,8002,200-1,600-4,800-2,400
(13.8%)(3.4%)(4.0%)(-2.8%)(-8.7%)(-4.6%)
Rail transport-100---100-
-(5.3%)--(-5.0%)-
Road transport and transport equipment rental300200100--600-300
(4.6%)(2.9%)(1.4%)-(-8.5%)(-4.4%)
Air, water and other transport-5,8006004,500300-2,5002,900
(-22.9%)(3.1%)(22.4%)(1.2%)(-10.0%)(14.9%)
Travel agency and information centre services1,2001,000700--3,100-1,400
(3.8%)(3.0%)(2.1%)-(-9.0%)(-4.3%)
Cultural services700200700-700-100100
(7.9%)(2.1%)(7.1%)(-6.7%)(-1.0%)(1.0%)
Casinos and other gambling services-100200-100-200100
(-2.9%)(5.9%)-(2.8%)(-5.4%)(2.9%)
Sports and recreation services1,200800600100-2,800-1,300
(4.3%)(2.7%)(2.0%)(0.3%)(-9.1%)(-4.4%)
Retail trade-2,700-900-10,000-3,100-3,400-17,400
(-2.3%)(-0.8%)(-8.8%)(-3.0%)(-3.4%)(-15.2%)
Education and training-16,300-14,800-17,200-15,800-100-47,900
(-25.2%)(-30.6%)(-51.2%)(-96.3%)(-16.7%)(-99.0%)
All other industries400900200200-400900
(1.8%)(3.9%)(0.8%)(0.8%)(-1.6%)(3.9%)
Tourism total (b)5,7002,700-5,700-14,200-56,200-73,400
(0.9%)(0.4%)(-0.9%)(-2.3%)(-9.2%)(-11.7%)

(a) Change on preceding quarter, except for the last column which shows the change on corresponding quarter of the previous year 
(b) Totals may not add due to rounding
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

During this quarter, industries with the largest quarterly change in number of jobs were:

  • cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services: -26,700 jobs (-11.9%)     
  • accommodation: -11,200 jobs (-12.1%)
  • clubs, pubs, taverns and bars: -4,800 jobs (-8.7%)

Comparing September 2020 with 2021, industries with the largest change in number of jobs were:

  • education and training: -47,900 (-99.0%)
  • retail trade: -17,400 jobs (-15.2%) 
  • cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services: -9,400 jobs (-4.5%) 

Employment status

Change in number and percentage of jobs by employment status, original series (a)
Jun-20 to Sep-20Sep-20 to Dec-20Dec-20 to Mar-21Mar-21 to Jun-21Jun-21 to Sep-21Sep-20 to Sep-21
Full-time-33,500-3,3007,300-16,300-26,200-38,500
(-10.1%)(-1.1%)(2.5%)(-5.4%)(-9.1%)(-12.9%)
Part-time39,2006,000-13,0002,000-29,900-34,900
(13.5%)(1.8%)(-3.9%)(0.6%)(-9.2%)(-10.6%)

(a) Change on preceding quarter, except for the last column which shows the change on corresponding quarter of the previous year

During this quarter:

  • part-time jobs decreased more than full-time jobs

Between September quarter 2020 and 2021:

  • full-time jobs had the larger yearly decrease

Sex

Change in number and percentage of jobs by sex, original series (a)
Jun-20 to Sep-20Sep-20 to Dec-20Dec-20 to Mar-21Mar-21 to Jun-21Jun-21 to Sep-21Sep-20 to Sep-21
Male2,7005,4004,100-13,700-17,900-22,100
(1.0%)(1.9%)(1.4%)(-4.6%)(-6.3%)(-7.7%)
Female3,000-2,700-9,700-600-38,300-51,300
(0.9%)(-0.8%)(-2.9%)(-0.2%)(-11.6%)(-15.0%)

(a) Change on preceding quarter, except for the last column which shows the change on corresponding quarter of the previous year

During this quarter:

  • jobs worked by females decreased more than jobs worked by males

From September quarter 2020 to 2021:

  • jobs worked by females had the larger yearly decrease

Sex by employment status

Change in number and percentage of jobs by sex by employment status, original series
MaleFemale
Jun-21 to Sep-21Sep-20 to Sep-21Jun-21 to Sep-21Sep-20 to Sep-21
Full-time-8,100-10,300-18,200-28,200
(-6.0%)(-7.5%)(-12.0%)(-17.5%)
Part-time-9,900-11,800-20,000-23,000
(-6.7%)(-7.9%)(-11.3%)(-12.7%)

During this quarter:

  • part-time female jobs decreased the most in number but full-time female jobs had the largest percentage decline

From September quarter 2020 to 2021: 

  • full-time female jobs had the largest negative yearly change

Changes and revisions in this issue

Revisions are a necessary and expected part of accounts compilation as data sources are updated and assumptions reviewed over time. In this quarter, there are revisions due to updated data sources such as Labour Account historical revisions, new benchmark tourism ratios, and change in tourism industry mapping.

Updated source data

A large number of revisions have been made to the Labour Account in the September quarter 2021, as part of a major historical revisions process. In addition to reflecting revisions from the recent National Accounts historical revisions process, the Labour Account historical revisions process also reflects the outcomes from a range of other targeted enhancements to some other methods and data sources. For more information, please refer to Labour Account Australia.

Updated tourism ratios

This September release also incorporated the latest tourism ratios from the 2020-21 annual. This latest available data source has resulted in large revisions to the education industry. Specifically, this revision reflects people in jobs delivering education services to international short-term students having been diverted to service other students such as domestic or online students during the pandemic. This is because, in order for an international student to be counted as a 'tourist', they need to be physically present in the country and here for no more than 12 out of 16 months. 

Tourism ratios are reviewed as part of the standard Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) benchmark process. 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.

Industry mapping

This quarter, the mapping between tourism industries and ANZSIC industries was reviewed. Previously, the tourism transport industry estimates (road, rail, water, and transport equipment rental) in this publication included non-passenger related transport (e.g. freight transport). Given these are typically not direct tourism related, an improvement has been made to remove these components from the tourism job estimates. This has resulted in revisions throughout the entire time series.

Measuring the impacts of bushfires and COVID-19 on tourism activity

The bushfires followed immediately by the COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the Australian economy with tourism particularly affected. This section looks at how tourism has been impacted over the period by comparing estimates of tourism jobs at the end of December 2019 with those in the current quarter. The key points are:

  • Tourism jobs peaked at 749,000 in December 2019, and in September quarter 2021 has fallen to the lowest level (554,800) since March 2012
  • This represents 25.9% (-194,200) less tourism jobs, compared to 2.5% (-353,000) less jobs in the whole economy as at the end of this quarter

Related release

Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account (previously used cat. no. 5249.0)

The 2020-21 issue of Australian National Accounts: Tourism Satellite Account was released on 10 December 2021. Users are reminded that the estimates in this quarterly release are based on a different data source and are not directly comparable to the estimates provided in the annual TSA publication. For more information on the strengths and differences between the two employment measures, please refer to the article published in March quarter 2020.

Feedback

This new TSA publication contains experimental estimates of quarterly tourism labour statistics. The ABS welcomes comments and suggestions from users regarding this release. If you are interested in contributing, please contact the Customer Assistance Service via the ABS website Contact Us page. 

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Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5249.0.55.005.