Tourism jobs almost back to pre-pandemic levels


Tourism jobs have recovered to almost pre-pandemic levels increasing 12.1 per cent in the December quarter of 2022, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“The recovery in tourism following the COVID-19 pandemic is catching up with the total economy,” said Jonathon Khoo, ABS head of tourism statistics.

“The number of tourism jobs fell by half (-393,600 jobs) in the June 2020 quarter, reflecting the travel and border restrictions brought in to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“By the end of December 2022, we saw 312,500 of these jobs had returned to the sector – which is equivalent to saying that nine out of 10 tourism jobs that existed in December 2019 are now filled.

“Recovery in tourism jobs has not been equal across industries. Jobs associated with holiday makers have shown the greatest recovery, with cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services just 0.5 per cent off the pre-pandemic level.”

One area that has been slow to recover is the education and training sector.

“The low numbers of short-term international students currently in Australia means that four in 10 education-related tourism jobs from before the pandemic are currently filled,” Khoo said.

“Domestic students continue to dominate the tertiary and vocational education sectors.”

The recovery for men has been higher than for women. Jobs held by men have recovered to 92.7 per cent of the level it was in 2019, compared with jobs held by women at 86.7 per cent. The return of full-time jobs is better than part-time jobs (90.4 per cent and 88.1 per cent respectively).