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Jobs in tourism are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels

But some sectors are recruiting better than others…

Tourism is nearly back to its pre-pandemic workforce.

The number of people employed in the Australian tourism industry is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Tourism was undoubtedly one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, with the industry shedding more than 393,000 jobs in the June 2020 quarter – nearly half of the industry’s total national workforce.

By the end of 2022, nine in every ten of these jobs had been refilled with 312,500 people returning to the sector, with the cafe, restaurant and hospitality sector leading the way and having almost recovered in full. 

The data shows travel agencies, information services and the accommodation sectors had also recruited well, with more than 90% of pre-pandemic roles now refilled.

Other sectors performing less well included transport rentals, cultural services, rail transport and airlines, all of which were hovering between 80-90%.

Welcome aboard! Tourism is rapidly recovering its pre-pandemic workforce.

Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Head of Tourism, Jonathon Khoo, said the recovery in tourism following the COVID-19 pandemic is catching up with the total economy but was not evenly spread across each sector.

“Recovery in tourism jobs has not been equal across industries,” Khoo said.

“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.”

The slower and long-delayed return by international students meant the training and education sector was recovering much slower than other industry sub-sectors, with only 40% of pre-pandemic jobs now refilled.

More full-time jobs had been created than part-time roles up to the end of 2022, with 90.4% of successfully recruited positions being full-time compared to 88.1% part-time.

The recovery of the tourism workforce was also stronger for men than women, with jobs held by men now at 92.7% of the pre-pandemic levels compared to 86.7% for women.


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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 16 March 2023

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