Monthly data highlights from the latest Stats Canada data for the tourism sector.

Prepared by Tourism HR Canada – Feb. 5, 2021

Both the seasonally adjusted and seasonally unadjusted labour force data shows decrease in employment this January. The adjusted data reports employment in Canada dropped by 213,000, while the unadjusted data shows a much steeper loss of almost half a million (490,100 to be exact).

Data is for the week of January 10 to 16

Tourism employment dropped 135,300, (27.6% of the total drop) and a decline of 8.6% from December.

The overall unemployment rate jumped from 8.0% to 9.8%. The tourism unemployment rate rose from 14.7% to 18.6%, the highest it has been since July.

Employment decreased in all tourism industry groups.

Industry Group Employment Gain/Loss –December to January January Unemployment Rate
Accommodations -21,700 29.9%
Food and Beverage Services -78,000 18.1%
Recreation and Entertainment -26,800 22.4%
Transportation -5,500 10.6%
Travel Services -3,300 17.4%

Provincially, employment dropped by 14.4% in both Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario and was down 12.3% in Alberta.

Tourism employed 594,000 fewer workers this January than it did in January 2020.

Industry Group Employment Loss – Jan. 2020 to Jan. 2021 Percent Employment Decrease January (year-over-year)
Accommodations -76,200 -44.4%
Food and Beverage Services -293,100 -30.3%
Recreation and Entertainment -150,800 -32.3%
Transportation -65,000 -17.7%
Travel Services -8,600 -15.6%

Please note that Statistics Canada has introduced historical revisions to all labour force survey data from January 2006 to December 2020. While this does not affect the data reported here, it does introduce small difference between the revised data, and the numbers we have reported until last month. For example, the tourism employment number that we reported in December was 1,568,300. The revised data shows now shows that tourism in employment in December was 1,570,600. Tourism HR Canada will be updating our data to reflect these revisions in the coming month. Although the numbers are changing slightly, these revisions do not change the overall story of massive employment loss in all tourism industries.

For more on the COVID impacts on tourism labour, check out the Employment Tracker Tool:

THRC has just updated their Employment by Federal Riding Tool, with further updates planned over the next several weeks: