There is Hope for Australia’s Hospitality and Travel Sectors

February 23, 2023 by Mariana Marques

When we think of the sectors most affected by Covid-19, Hospitality and Travel are among the first ones to come to mind. With borders closing and self-isolation measures, travelling, whether internationally, nationally, or simply to a shop down the street, was bottom of the list for everyone - Australians included.

The number of job postings for the Hospitality and Travel sectors fell sharply in Q1 of 2020, but despite this major blow, the story since then has been a far happier one with both industries bouncing back in the following quarter and booming ever since. Earlier this year, for instance, the Australian Open brought a further A$400 million to Melbourne’s Hospitality and Tourism sector, further contributing to this boom. 

Lightcast put together The Great Reshuffle dashboard with in-depth data to guide you through the key industry changes in the Australian labour market over these past disruptive years. In this instalment of our ongoing article series examining trends in different affected industries, we shift focus from a deep dive into Construction to examining Hospitality and Travel.

Travel is thriving

The number of job postings for the Hospitality and Travel industries doubled between Q1 of 2015 and Q3 of 2022, even despite the sharp decrease in 2020. In mid-2022, the Australian government launched THRIVE 2030, a long-term, ambitious plan specifically aimed at boosting the Travel industry and visitor economy. The main goal of this plan is to grow the value of the Travel sector by $230 billion by 2030. 

Numbers don’t lie, and the rapid comeback of Travel and Hospitality-related job postings after 2020 allows us to be optimistic about the recovery of these industries. The Australian Travel sector counts with 300 thousand businesses which employ more than one million people, so the more Travel grows, the likelier it is that Hospitality grows too. 

Hospitality & Travel wages 

As we have seen, the number of job postings in these sectors has oscillated over the last few years. Advertised wages, on the other hand, have been quite stagnant and below market average. There has been a slight increase between Q1 and Q3 of 2022, which pushed the average advertised salary for this sector from $48K to $53K, and brought it closer to the median average of the whole Australian market of $56K. Yet still, positions in these sectors are notoriously underpaid, even despite labour shortages.  

Full-time vs. contracting work

When it comes to job security, there has been some fluctuation in the last few years and, generally, a slight decline. Yet, the figures are very much in line with the market average. In Q3 of 2022, 83% of all Hospitality and Travel roles were full-time, just above the market average of 82%. 

Contract work is significantly less popular in these sectors, with only 5% of job postings offering contracting options. This type of work isn’t widely adopted by the broader market either - since 2018, the total number of job postings that offered contracting work declined by 4%.  

Relaxed requirements, or are they? 

With Australian Hospitality and Travel businesses struggling with significant staff shortages, it makes sense that job requirements, particularly when it comes to work experience, are loosened. 52% of job postings for this sector require only 0 to 2 years of work experience, compared to the market average of 40%. Interestingly enough, job postings requiring 0-2 years experience grew by a significant 6%, while job postings requiring 3+ years of experience decreased by 6%. 

However, level of experience is just one of the many job requirements we see advertised. There are a lot of other factors that come into play, such as required specialised and common skills. If you want to explore job trends in the Australian market, and how the pandemic affected these, have a look at our The Great Reshuffle dashboard. Whatever labour market data you need - Lightcast has it. Get in touch with us to unlock new talent opportunities for your business.