Employers in the Thompson-Okanagan tourism and hospitality sector are paying more than ever to attract workers in a ruthless labour market.
A new employment tracker crafted for the industry by go2HR shows the average tourism/hospitality employee was making $24 per hour in the Thompson-Okanagan in April, up from $21 per hour a year ago.
That’s, however, down from the $26 per hour that was being paid in February.
Unemployment in the sector has been plummeting this year, down to 1.4% in April — just a fraction of the 9.9% rate a year ago and 22% rate in April 2020.
It appears things will get tighter as the employment rate in the sector fell below 1% at times during the summer of both 2021 and 2019.
There are now more people in the tourism and hospitality labour force in the Thompson Okanagan — 35,000 in April — than in the past two years, but still short of the 38,750 in the sector in 2019.
The labour force is defined by people working in the field along with unemployed individuals seeking work whose last job was in the sector.
The new data outlined in the labour market tracker is a first step to tackling the massive hiring challenges in the field, says leaders.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities and workers has been devastating, and the future is so uncertain. It is encouraging to see various components of the tourism and hospitality industry band together to conduct this important labour market research,” said Anthony Everett, chair of the BC Tourism Resiliency Network and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island.
“Having this information and accompanying analysis will be helpful for the communities and businesses who are struggling and are trying to plan for the future and for future hiring.”
BC Hotel Association CEO Ingrid Jarrett agreed, “accurate, real-time and sector specific data is not only the smart way for us to plot our way back to economic health, it is the only way forward after the staggering devastation on our industry.”