Canadian Tourism Employment Monthly Snapshot – December 2019

(seasonally unadjusted)

In December 2019, the unemployment rate1 in the tourism sector was at 4.6%, which is 0.5 percentage points higher than the rate reported in December 2018, and lower than the previous month (November 2019), when the unemployment rate stood at 5.3%.

At 4.6%, tourism’s unemployment rate was below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.1%.

With the exception of Food & Beverage Services, all tourism industry groups have reported higher unemployment rates than the same month last year (Table 1).

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 2.6% in Saskatchewan to 14.5% in Prince Edward Island.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for tourism in each province, with the exceptions of Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and British Columbia, were below the rates reported for the provincial economy (Figure 1).

Tourism employment comprised 10.9% of the total Canadian labour force for the month of December.

Table 1 – Employment Rate by Tourism Industry Group – December 2018/2019
Tourism Industry Group2 Unemployment Rate –
December 2018
Unemployment Rate –
December 2019
Tourism 4.1% 4.6%
Accommodations 6.3% 6.4%
Food and Beverage 4.4% 4.0%
Recreation and Entertainment 5.3% 7.0%
Transportation 1.2% 2.7%
Travel Services N/A N/A
Figure 1 – Tourism Sector vs. Total Labour Force Unemployment Rates by Province (Seasonally Unadjusted)

See interactive charts

1 To determine unemployment rates, industrial (NAICS) classifications are based on the most recent job held within the past year, and are self-identified by the respondent. Unemployed persons are those who, during the reference period, were available for work but were on temporary layoff, were without work, or were to start a new job within four weeks.

2 As defined by the Canadian Tourism Satellite Account. The NAICS industries included in the tourism sector are those that would cease to exist or operate at a significantly reduced level of activity as a direct result of an absence of tourism. Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, customized tabulations. Based on data for the week ending December 14, 2019.