Tasmanian jobs surge, record for employed women

Posted: 24th Jan

The state had 255,000 employed people in December, a gain of 1200 since November, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated in trend terms.

Employed males increased by 700 to 133,500.

That was the highest total since 2008.

Employed females increased by 500 to a record 121,500.

It was the eighth successive month of overall jobs growth, with the state adding 7700 employed people since April last year.

The news was also good on full-time employment, which had been up and down in recent years.

Full-time employment increased by 700 to 157,800 in December, the ABS estimated.

That was the highest total since July 2018.

The number of technically unemployed Tasmanians dropped by 300 to 15,700.

That was well down from a recent peak of 17,300 in May 2019.

The unemployment rate ticked down from 5.9 per cent to 5.8 per cent, the lowest since July 2017.

The participation rate increased by 60.9 per cent to 61.1 per cent.

Shadow Treasurer David O'Byrne said the figures showing jobs growth were welcome news, but challenges persisted in Tasmania's jobs market.

"The unemployment rate is still the third highest in the country, and youth unemployment has risen and is the third highest in the country," Mr O'Byrne said.

He said most of the employment growth had been in part-time work.

"Worryingly, underemployment is the worst in the country at 11 per cent: the only state in double figures," he said.

"It means people aren't getting enough work to make ends meet.

"We know that insecure work makes it harder for Tasmanian families to meet rising costs of living.

"Without job security, people worry about paying bills, buying food and have little chance of not just buying, but also renting, a home.

"Labor is focused on growing secure jobs and addressing the casualisation of work."

Mr O'Byrne said new Premier Peter Gutwein could not afford to be complacent.

"Today's data comes on the heels of data yesterday showing job vacancies are going backwards," Mr O'Byrne said.

Federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Tasmania Carol Brown said the figures confirmed Tasmania's underemployment crisis was worsening, with the number of underemployed Tasmanians at the highest level since records began in 1978.

"In trend terms, there are now 29,700 Tasmanians who are struggling to make ends meet because they can't get enough hours of work," Senator Brown said.

"That is an underemployment rate of 11 per cent, the worst figure on record and up a full percentage point in a year.

"This is the worst underemployment rate of any state or territory and compares with a national rate of just 8.3 per cent."

The nation added 28,900 jobs in December in seasonally adjusted terms, with the unemployment rate dropping from 5.2 per cent to 5.1 per cent.

Total national employment pushed close to 13 million.

Source: The Advocate - https://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/6594815/tasmanian-jobs-surge-record-for-employed-women/