Tens of thousands of tourism jobs to be lost when Job Keeper payments end

There are calls for the Job Keeper payments to be extended for workers in the tourism industry, amid fears thousands more jobs will be lost when the subsidy expires in September.

Research commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TFF) shows tens of thousands more tourism jobs will be lost, with the industry to peak at over 130,000 jobs lost in December through to March.

TFF CEO Margy Osmond says the industry has been losing almost $10 billion a month since the coronavirus shut down, from both domestic and international spenders.


“While our State borders are gradually starting to reopen and people have either started to or are making plans to travel, any uptick in domestic tourism will not be sufficient to fill the $4 billion black hole left by the lack of international inbound travel.

“The tourism industry has continued to support the Government’s response to COVID 19 and applauded their efforts to protect the health of Australians.

“But we are calling on the Federal Government to recognise the ongoing restrictions that have crippled tourism-related business and employees.

“While we understand the JobKeeper scheme cannot go on indefinitely tourism-related businesses have borne the brunt of government-ordered business closures and border closures.

“The seasonal nature of our sector means operators need more time to rebuild their businesses. Many will have no opportunity to do so unless JobKeeper is extended until March 2021.

“To survive 2020’s perfect storm the industry must have further critical support,” Ms Osmond says.

There are already over 230,000 people in tourism relying on the payment.

Related article: “Come Back and Play”: Tourism bosses launch first burst of campaign activity

BELOW: A table of the impact according to TFF

Quarterly assessment June 2020 Sept 2020 Dec 2020 March 2021 June 2021
Estimated jobs with Job Keeper in place 233k 300k 366k 400k 366k
Lost jobs compared to 2019 job data 433k 366k 300k 266k 300k
% jobs still lost from 2019 65% 55% 45% 40% 45%
Estimated jobs without job keeper in place 233k 233k 233k 266k 266k
Lost jobs compared to 2019 job data 433k 433k 433k 266k 266k
%Lost jobs compared to 2019 65% 65% 65% 60% 60%
Difference in job numbers if jobkeeper scheme is removed in September 0 67k 133k 133k 100k
Estimated value of wages pa. on jobs lost through removing jobkeeper scheme 0 $2.7b $5.3b $5.3b $4.0b


1) the above only reflects direct jobs in the sector and excludes the various indirect jobs which are generated through the provision of goods and services to support the sector.

2): the data assumes that all domestic borders will be open by August 2020 and remain open through to June 2021. The uplift shown in jobs over the 12 month period reflects domestic tourism gradual growth

3): the data also takes into account a Trans Tasman travel bubble with NZ but the job losses when compared to 2019 reflect the impact and importance of international visitation in supporting sector employment.

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