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

Prepared by Tourism HR Canada – May, 2021

‘Snapshot of the from the latest Labour Force Survey data, which is released once a month by Stats Canada.

Note, the seasonally adjusted data shows employment across all industriesnot just tourismdropping by 207,000. The unadjusted data shows a drop of only 73,700. The gap between adjusted and unadjusted data is particularly large this month. Usually, employment starts to increase in the spring as business begin to prepare for the summer. Because the usual trend at this time of year is an employment increase, any decrease is going to be significantly amplified when seasonal adjustments are applied.  Noted for context, when reading the headlines below.

Employment across all industries fell by 73,700. Tourism employment fell by 68,900, a decrease of 4.4% from March. The tourism sector accounted for 93.5% of employment losses.

Every tourism industry group saw employment decrease. Travel services was hit particularly hard this month. Employment in that industry group dropped by 24.0%.

Despite the drop in employment, the tourism sector unemployment rate actually declined. This was driven by declining unemployment rates in the food and beverage and travel services industry. This seems counter intuitive but it tells us that former worker were not actively seeking new employment during the month of April. Considering current lockdown conditions, that is fairly understandable.


Industry Employment Change

from March

Percent Employment Decrease Unemployment Rate
All Industries -73,700 – 0.4% 8.4%
Tourism Sector -68,900 -4.4% 11.3%
Accommodations -3,700 -3.2% 16.2%
Food and Beverage Services -47,400 -6.4% 11.6%
Recreation and Entertainment -3,400 -0.9% 13.1%
Transportation -500 -0.2% 6.7%
Travel Services -13,900 -24.0% 7.4%


To keep track of employment trends and the impact of COVID on tourism labour, with data you can easily tailor to your needs check out: Tourism Employment Tracker (