"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Creating employment (II)

Well, if not natural resources, then surely tourism employment, what with all those Ontarians coming down to sniff the laundry, must be booming, right?

After all, as the Minister of Laundry himself said earlier this year:
Over the past five years, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has doubled its marketing budget from $6 million to $12 million annually. Spending by resident and non-resident tourists totals approximately $800 million annually. In 2007, there were 12,730 people whose employment was directly attributable to tourism spending – or 4.7 per cent of the working population.
In actual fact, employment in the Accomodation and food services industries — the sector which most closely corresponds to a catch-all "tourism" category — has taken a marked dip in just the past year. The stacked bars show employment (red) and self-employment in this sector:

There is an obvious seasonal element to accomodations and food service employment, reflecting the seasonal nature of the tourism industry. This graph separates employment and self-employment (with the same colour scheme) and shows the twelve-month trailing average (thick line) to smooth out the seasonality of the raw data (visible in the background). Self-employment in the sector has shown weakness over the past three years, while employment, after surging in 2007, has since fallen off a cliff:

Totalling the employed and self-employed figures, and again averaging them over twelve months, the number of people working in tourism-related industries in the province has dropped sharply in the year ending May 2009 from just under 15,000 to about 12,500.

In the first five months of 2009, the average monthly total of employed or self-employed in these industries was 11,000. During the same period in 2007, it was 12,500.

[Data sources: Statistics Canada tables 282-0008; 282-0011]

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At 9:30 AM, August 08, 2009 , Blogger Edward G. Hollett said...

Not surprisingly, the tourism minister of the moment usually gets talking points that use old dates in them, like 2007.

The more recent numbers aren't that good so they get omitted, obviously. In the case of the cruise sector, it's like nailing jello to the wall.

I can't wait for the 2009 visitor stats to come out. There's been plenty of bullshit (Hi, Krysta!) about numbers being up and while that mighyt be true if we look at some very specific places, I suspect the only increase has been in the stay-at-homes. Real tourists, i.e. those from outside the province, have likely continued to hold steady or - more likely - they've dropped.

More money goes into the wole but the return on investment just doesn't seem to be there.


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