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ABS figures show part-time tourism jobs exceeding full-time positions for first time

ABS figures show part-time tourism jobs exceeding full-time positions for first time
December 23, 2020

Hard hit by COVID-19, the proportion of tourism jobs in the Australian economy has plunged to its lowest September quarter on record, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The proportion of tourism filled jobs fell to 4.6% in September, the lowest September quarter since 2013, with just 634,000 jobs in tourism during that month, a 13% drop from September 2019.

The ABS figures reveal the sector has been hit harder by bushfires and COVID-19 than the economy as a whole.

The sector was impacted after summer bushfires swept across Australia, with states of emergency declared in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, followed immediately by the pandemic, which forced Australia’s international borders shut in March and a series of domestic restrictions and lockdowns.

It recovered slightly, with the number of jobs jumping 4% from the June to September quarter after two large quarterly falls.

Commenting on the figures, ABS Tourism Statistics Assistant Director, Terri Hendry advised “despite the uptick in the September quarter, the latest data is again showing that tourism has been impacted more severely than the economy as a whole with the number of jobs down.”

Number of tourism jobs ('000) by employment status

The biggest falls in tourism jobs since September 2019 were in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (23,900 jobs), accommodation (23,500 jobs) and air, water and other transport (15,200).

With part-time tourism jobs exceeding full-time positions for first time, Hendry added “tourism has always had a high proportion of part-time jobs, but in September, tourism part-time jobs exceeded full-time jobs for the first time in this time series.”

Prior to COVID-19, jobs on average were growing in all tourism industries for a decade prior to 2020.

Click here for further information, Tourism Satellite Account: quarterly tourism labour statistics, Australia, experimental estimates (cat. no. 5249.0.55.005).

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