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Tourism employment

Direct tourism employment adds another dimension to measuring the role of tourism in the New Zealand economy, focusing on tourism’s impact on employment.

Table 12 shows the number of total full-time equivalents (FTEs) directly employed in tourism.

These are shown in terms of paid employees and working proprietors, and are broken down into full-time and part-time positions. In the absence of data on hours worked, a part-time employee is assumed to equate to 0.5 of a full-time equivalent. An FTE is an employee who works 30 or more hours a week, while a part-time employee is one who works fewer than 30 hours a week as per Statistics NZ’s employment definition.

Points to note from table 12:

  • There were 119,800 FTEs directly employed in tourism in the year ended March 2012. Direct tourism employment decreased 3.6 percent between 2009 and 2012. The total number of FTEs employed in New Zealand increased 1.2 percent over the same period.
  • The number of FTEs employed in tourism does not necessarily correlate with movements in total tourism expenditure or direct value added. In 2012, for example, direct tourism value added increased 2.5 percent, while FTEs directly employed in tourism decreased 0.8 percent. This difference may be the result of a number of factors. There may be a lag between growth in a given industry and decisions to employ new staff. Alternatively, there may be a shift in the number of hours worked, or in output for each FTE. Also, defining a part-time employee’s hours as equivalent to 0.5 of an FTE’s hours may not necessarily be a true representation of the differences in hours worked.

Tourism industry ratios have been used to allocate tourism employment numbers by industry. This treatment assumes that, for each industry, a given dollar value of output will require a fixed quantity of labour input, regardless of whether the products are purchased by tourists or non-tourists.

Table 12

Direct tourism employment, year ended March 2009 to 2012.

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