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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Almost four full years of Employment Growth

Tasmania is on the verge of recording 4 full years of uninterrupted jobs growth.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today show that employment in Tasmania has increased in each of the 45 months to January 2006 (in trend terms).

Minister for Economic Development Lara Giddings said the figures show that over the past year employment in Tasmania grew by 4.4 per cent meaning 9,500 more Tasmanians are in jobs than in January 2005.

“These figures show the Lennon Labor Government is still on the job of creating jobs,” Ms Giddings said.

“All up, more than 31,000 jobs for Tasmanians have been created since the jobs resurgence began in January 1999.

“We now have 225,700 Tasmanians in jobs, and at 4.4 percent a jobs growth rate of nearly three times the rest of Australia, Ms Giddings said.

“Based on current trends we can expect that in just three short months Tasmania will record four full years of jobs growth.

Ms Giddings said Tasmania’s participation rate, which indicates how many people are now actively looking for work reached 61.8 per cent in January 2006.

“Tasmania’s participation rate is the highest it’s been since December 1990 which means more and more Tasmanians who had previously given up looking for work now feel confident enough to start looking for a job again, Ms Giddings said.

“While unemployment rose from 5.9 per cent to 6.7 per cent, this has been driven by the growth in Tasmania’s participation rate.

“According to ANZ Chief Economist Saul Eslake, if Tasmania's participation rate had remained at its January 2005 level, the trend unemployment rate last month would have been just 2.4%,” Ms Giddings said.

“This continued jobs growth is a great indicator that Tasmania’s economy continues to be strong and stable.

Ms Giddings said this latest good news on employment came on the heels of a swag of data showing the Tasmanian economy continues to be strong.

“Recent ABS data show the growth in Tasmania’s retail expenditure during December 2005 was the largest of any state or territory and that the nominal value of overseas merchandise exports from Tasmania grew by 11 per cent reaching $2.7 billion in the year to December 2005.

“And only yesterday ICT firm Etech announced it will expand its Hobart-based Global Support and Development Centre to provide 42 new full-time high-skill jobs over the next 18 months, as a result of a major contract with Apple Computer Corporation and assistance from the Tasmanian Government.

“Tasmania is able to create so many jobs because our businesses and our workforce are amongst the most innovative in the world.

“Our strong jobs growth is also due to the strong economic management of the Lennon Labor Government and the fact that having a stable majority government gives business the confidence to invest in Tasmania.” Ms Giddings said.


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