Tasmania’s jobs recovery remains on track, but Labor is warning of problems ahead.
A further 2300 Tasmanians gained jobs between July and August in net terms, according to seasonally adjusted estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Tasmanian employment crashed by 21,900 between February and May as the coronavirus crisis intensified.
The latest figures suggested 15,800 Tasmanians had either regained or found work since then in net terms, leaving employment down by 6100 at 255,300.
August was a third successive month of growth from the trough of 239,500 in May.
State Labor welcomed the improvement, but said the worst was to come.
Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said many Tasmanians would lose access to the JobKeeper payment in less than two weeks as payment thresholds changed.
“That’s not just bad news for workers, it’s bad news for the broader economy.,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“At the moment, there’s billions of dollars coming into the state from JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments.
“We heard last month that 63,000 Tasmanians are receiving JobKeeper.
“That’s a massive segment of the Tasmanian workforce.
“It shows how vulnerable we are as a state to the federal Liberal government walking away from Tasmanian jobs.”
Mr O’Byrne said Premier and Treasurer Peter Gutwein should lobby his federal colleagues to ensure JobKeeper remained available to the greatest number of businesses and workers where jobs continued to be at risk.
“The extension of JobKeeper will give the Tasmanian economy time to rebuild, given our current restrictions,” Mr O’Byrne said.
An estimated 1700 Tasmanian males and 700 females gained employment during the month.
Employed females had decreased by 4500 and employed males by 1600 since February.
Full-time employment fell by 100 to 154,000 in August, leaving it down by 4000 since February.
The unemployment rate rose from 6 per cent to 6.3 per cent as more Tasmanians started looking for work.
The ABS estimated employment increased by 111,000 nationally.