Linkages Project

Foodservices and Hospitality - Alberta

Event - Informational Session - May 8, 2018

Event - Workforce Connex Event - June 5, 2018


The food, beverage and hospitality industry is an important contributor to Alberta’s economy and is identified as a priority value-added sector in the province’s economic development strategy, Securing Tomorrow’s Prosperity.

Tourism is one of the leading industries in the province, employing 127,000 Albertans. It has an economic impact of $8 billion per year and generates over $3 billion in tax revenue annually. It is supported by a range of tourism, hospitality and service-related businesses such as resorts, hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, retail, recreational and transportation services. These cater to Albertans traveling in their own province, from other parts of Canada and from around the world. According to Culture and Tourism, there are over 19,000 tourism operators in the province. The Alberta Tourism Framework 2013-2020 aims to grow the sector to $10.3 billion by 2020, providing sustainable economic benefits to all regions in Alberta.

According to the most recent Statistics Canada’s National Economic Accounts, the Accommodation and Food Services industry accounted for approximately 1.9% of Alberta’s Gross Domestic Product in 2015, up from 1.7% in 2005. Its contribution to Alberta’s total employment increased from 6.1% in 2006 to 6.4% in 2016.

Total employment (the total number of employees and self-employed people, 15 years and over) in 2016 was 5.9% lower than its level in 2015. Over the last 10 years, employment increased by 27,100 from 2006, a 23.1% increase. There were 144,400 employed in the industry in 2016, of whom 60.9% were full time and 39.1% were part time.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the gender breakdown in the Accommodation and Food Services industry in 2016 was as follows:  women employed: 82,900 people, or 57.4%; men employed: 61,400 people, or 42.5% Overall in Alberta, women accounted for 45.5% and men made up 54.5% of total employment (for all industries).

Part-time and seasonal work is more prevalent in the tourism and hospitality industry than in many other industries. Nationally, approximately 38 per cent of those working in the industry work full-time, year-round, compared to 54 per cent of workers in all industries. The seasonal nature of some jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry results in periods of unemployment for some workers.

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