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Provincial-territorial human resource module of the Tourism Satellite Account, 2015

Released: 2017-06-07

Tourism accounted for about 1.8 million jobs in Canada in 2015, up 2.6% from 2014. Every province and territory except Northwest Territories (-3.8%), New Brunswick (-0.9%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.3%) added tourism industries jobs in 2015.

The growth rate was highest in Yukon (+4.7%), followed by Alberta (+4.1%) and Ontario (+3.8%). At the national level, the job growth for tourism industries (+2.6%) outpaced job growth for the total economy (+1.0%).

The tourism sector accounts for almost one-tenth of all jobs in Canada

The tourism sector accounted for 9.7% of the jobs in the Canadian labour market in 2015. This share has been relatively stable since 1997, averaging 9.5%.

The tourism sector's share of jobs was highest in Yukon (13.5%), followed closely by British Columbia (13.2%). Nunavut (7.2%) had the smallest share of tourism jobs, followed by Saskatchewan (8.3%) and New Brunswick (8.5%).

Tourism sector has a shorter average work week than the rest of the economy

Average weekly hours worked per job in tourism industries increased 0.7% in Canada to 29.7 hours per week in 2015. This compares with 32.8 hours for the total economy.

Weekly hours worked were highest in the Northwest Territories (31.9 hours per week), Newfoundland and Labrador (31.5) and Yukon (31.4), while they were lowest in Manitoba (29.1) and Quebec (29.1).

The average work week was shorter in the tourism sector than in the rest of the economy in every province and territory.

Average hourly compensation in the sector declines

Average hourly compensation in Canada's tourism sector declined 0.4% in 2015 to $20.83, while the economy-wide average hourly rate grew 1.7% to $34.62. Despite posting the largest increase nationally, Prince Edward Island (+5.4%) had the lowest compensation at $14.19 per hour. Average hourly compensation in the tourism industries in Newfoundland and Labrador (+0.8%) grew for a 14th consecutive year.

Hourly compensation fell most rapidly in Yukon (-4.1%) and Manitoba (-2.4%).

Nunavut ($31.84) had the highest average hourly compensation rate, followed by the Northwest Territories ($30.18). In both territories, however, the average hourly rate declined in 2015.

Workers occupying employee jobs in the tourism sector earned on average $18.51 per hour worked. Male workers earned an average hourly wage of $20.75 while women earned $16.18. This wage gap may be partially explained by possible differences in gender distribution within industries, age groups and immigration status. For example, in the transport industry, where the average hourly wage was $31.87, men occupied 67.8% of all employee jobs.

Hourly compensation in tourism industries throughout Canada did not meet or exceed the average hourly compensation of the provincial or territorial economy as a whole. The largest gap in hourly compensation in tourism industries compared with the local economy was in Nunavut ($31.84 compared with $51.14) while the smallest gap was in Quebec ($20.44 compared with $31.83).

Men more likely than women to work full time in the sector

Employee jobs accounted for 92.7% of all jobs in tourism industries. This proportion has been relatively stable since 1997, averaging 92.2%.

Women occupied 52.2% of employee jobs in tourism industries in 2015. Of employee jobs held by men in Canada's tourism sector, 67.7% were full time compared with 60.5% of those held by women. Full-time self-employed jobs accounted for 61.1% of all self-employed jobs.

Younger workers hold one-third of employee jobs in the sector

Older workers, those aged 45 and older, were most prevalent in tourism industries in the Northwest Territories (occupying 46.8% of employee jobs) and Yukon (39.8%). Nunavut (16.8%) and Saskatchewan (22.1%) had the lowest ratio of older workers.

At the national level, older workers held 30.3% of employee jobs in tourism industries while younger workers, those aged 15 to 24, held 33.5% of the employee jobs.

Younger workers were most prevalent in Prince Edward Island (38.4%), Saskatchewan (37.8%) and Manitoba (37.2%). The territories had the lowest ratios of younger workers, led by the Northwest Territories (17.0%) and followed by Yukon (25.0%) and Nunavut (27.9%).

One-quarter of tourism sector jobs are held by immigrant workers

Immigrant workers occupied 25.9% of employee jobs in Canada's tourism industries, with the highest prevalence in British Columbia (32.2%), Alberta (30.9%) and Ontario (30.3%).

Immigrant workers were least common in Atlantic Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, immigrant workers occupied 3.1% of the employee jobs in the tourism industries, while they accounted for 5.2% in New Brunswick and 5.6% in Prince Edward Island.

  Note to readers

The provincial-territorial human resource module of the Tourism Satellite Account is funded through a partnership agreement with Tourism HR Canada. It provides timely and reliable statistics on the human resource dimension of tourism. Estimates include data for Canada and the provinces and territories from 1997 to 2015.

The human resource module provides the total hours worked, compensation and jobs in tourism industries and includes jobs that are attributable to demand from both tourists and non-tourists. This differs from the data for tourism jobs in the National Tourism Indicators and the Tourism Satellite Account, which take into account only those jobs that are directly attributable to demand from tourists. These variables are aggregated into five industry groups: transportation, accommodation, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, and travel services.

Employee jobs are defined as jobs for which the employer must complete a Canada Revenue Agency T4 form. Jobs in which workers are paid by tips or commissions are also included.

Jobs from self-employment include jobs performed by working owners of unincorporated enterprises, and members of their households who work without a wage or salary (that is, unpaid family workers).


The System of Macroeconomic Accounts module features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available. This publication will be updated to maintain its relevance.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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