Canadian Tourism Employment Monthly Snapshot – January 2019

(seasonally unadjusted)

In January 2019, the unemployment rate1 in the tourism sector was at 4.9%, which is 0.7% lower than the rate reported in January 2018, but higher than the previous month (December 2018), when the unemployment rate stood at 4.1%.

At 4.9%, tourism’s unemployment rate was well below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.2%.

With the exception of the accommodations industry group, all tourism industry groups reported lower unemployment rates than the same month last year (Table 1).

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 3.1% in Saskatchewan to 15.9% in Prince Edward Island.

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

Tourism employment comprised 11.0% of the total Canadian labour force for the month of January.

Table 1 – Employment Rate by Tourism Industry Group – January  2018/2019
Tourism Industry Group2 Unemployment Rate –
January 2018
Unemployment Rate –
January 2019
Tourism 5.6% 4.9%
Accommodations 8.0% 9.6%
Food and Beverage 5.3% 4.6%
Recreation and Entertainment 7.9% 6.9%
Transportation 2.3% 1.8%
Travel Services 4.0% N/A
Figure 1 – Tourism Sector vs. Total Labour Force Unemployment Rates by Province (Seasonally Unadjusted)

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 January 19, 2019.