Nearly 200,000 job vacancies in tourism: Report

Stats Canada has released its latest job vacancy rates data for the month of September.

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Stats Canada has released its latest job vacancy rates data for the month of September.

According to Philip Mondor, president and CEO of of Tourism HR Canada, the number of vacancies in the accommodation and food services industry is truly unprecedented.

Mondor says that while his team expected to see a slight decrease from August to September, given the reduced demand for tourism goods and services that usually accompanies the end of the summer season and return to school, in 2021 the number of vacant jobs spiked to nearly 200,000.

Almost 40,000 more jobs were vacant in September than in August.

This means 14.4 per cent of jobs in this industry were unstaffed, impacting the ability to remain open to full capacity, stretching current staff member’s workloads, and likely diminishing service levels. We must continue to build on our coordinated, concerted effort to place tourism as a destination for employment and show that the demand for employees is far outpacing supply. And this is demand that was only just starting to pick up as border restrictions were eased. As more restrictions lift (such as PCR testing mandates) and the rate of vaccination in children increases, this demand will continue to rise. We must ensure we have the skilled staff to welcome these visitors as they return,” says Mondor.

On a more positive note, the number of job vacancies did drop slightly in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry, falling just shy of 1,500 to 16,380 (leaving 5.5 per cent of jobs unfilled). However, this industry is much more seasonal in nature, so there may be a return to higher rates in the spring.

Below are the charts for each of these industry groups. Further information can be found on the Stats Canada website, including data for other industries — the hotel sector is far from the only one facing historically high vacancy rates, leading to increased competition for workers.

Tourism hr canada

Joe Baker

Joe Baker is a passionate leader within Canada’s tourism, hospitality and education sectors and a vocal advocate for a resilient, inclusive, future-forward industry. He is CEO of Joe Baker & Co., a human capital consultancy focused on strengthening hospitality and tourism organizations and people. Baker was dean at Centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts where he led the most significant transformation in the school’s over 50-year history. He serves on the board of directors of Tourism HR Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

Joe can be found everywhere @thejoebaker.