ABS report shows Tasmanian full-time jobs growing again

Posted: 15th Aug

The state gained a net 200 jobs in July in trend terms and they were all full-time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated.

It was a third straight month of jobs growth, but the previous growth had been in part-time work.

Tasmania's July total of 157,300 full-time jobs was 5100 fewer than the total for July 2018.

Total jobs reached 248,000, an increase of 600 in three months.

The state unemployment rate and participation rate remained steady at 6.7 per cent and 60.3 per cent respectively.

Business Northwest president Ian Jones said he expected lots of new jobs in the region in the medium and long term.

"We've got a lot of infrastructure to roll out in the next four to five years," Mr Jones said.

"Major projects like the wind farms, Project Marinus, the timber mill and there's a lot of activity in the mining sector.

"If any those (mining projects) come to fruition, and the law of averages says some will, there will be a lot of growth in employment."

Mr Jones said he was "really pleased" to hear about the return to full-time Jones growth.

Business Northwest was formerly the Burnie Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tasmanian average wages grew by about 1.4 per cent in the six months to May, the ABS found.

It estimated Tasmanian average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) for adult full-time workers increased by $19.90 to $1419.80.

The national average increased by $27 to $1633.80.

Tasmania remained the state or territory with the lowest average wages.

The average for female Tasmanian workers increased by $18.30 to $1320.50.

The average for males increased by $21 to $1473.10, meaning a gap between the sexes of about $150 per week.

The AWOTE figures followed ABS wage price index data released on Wednesday which showed Tasmanian private sector wages increased by 3 per cent in the year to June, but public sector wages increased by just 1.5 per cent.

Hobart inflation - the best available measure for Tasmania - increased by 2.3 per cent during the year.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said the wage price index figures were the result of the state government's "shameful" handling of the public sector pay dispute.

"(Premier) Will Hodgman and (Treasurer) Peter Gutwein should have dealt with this issue a year ago instead of treating our hard working nurses,

teachers, child safety officers, park rangers and paramedics with contempt and extraordinary disrespect," Mr Bacon said.

"The chaotic and dysfunctional Hodgman Government is asleep at the wheel while Tasmania continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the country and the worst pay parity compared to workers interstate.

"This government has no plan to create full-time jobs in this state.

"It's failing to provide adequate training opportunities for Tasmanians and has no clue on how to address our alarming skills shortage."

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said: "The government welcomes the signing of a wages deal that will see our hard working state service employees receive a well-earned pay increase shortly."

"Our economic plan has seen our economic growth become the strongest in the nation and around 13,000 jobs created since we came to office.

"Unlike when Scott Bacon was finance minister in the former Labor-Green government, when 10,000 Tasmanians lost their jobs, the statewide unemployment rate at one point hit 8.6 per cent and our state was plunged into recession."Mr Gutwein said the job figures followed CommSec analysis confirming Tasmania's best economic performance in a decade and data showing it had Australia's strongest economic growth.

Source: The Advocate - https://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/6330498/tasmania-back-into-full-time-jobs-growth/