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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 15 shows the number of people directly employed in tourism, by employees and working proprietors.

Employment is derived from Linked Employer-Employee Data (LEED) annual statistics. The tourism satellite account uses the main earnings source, by industry measure, which allocates a person to the industry they have generated the most earnings from in a tax year.

Download tables 1–16 (Excel, 16 sheets, 154kb)

Points to note from table 15:

  • 188,136 people were directly employed in tourism in the year ended March 2016, an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous year.
  • Direct tourism employment increased 7.8 percent between 2013 and 2016. The total number of people employed in New Zealand increased 8.1 percent over the same period.
  • The number of people employed in tourism does not necessarily correlate with movements in total tourism expenditure or direct value added. In 2016, for example, direct tourism value added increased 11.9 percent, while the number of people employed directly in tourism increased 3.5 percent. This difference may be the result of several factors including:
    • a lag between growth in a given industry and decisions to employ new staff
    • a shift in the number of hours worked, or output for each person employed.

We use tourism industry ratios 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.

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