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Jobs' Growth Continues to Decline

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 18 August 2016

Tags: Unemployment, Employment, Native Forest Logging, Roads, Mining

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Liberals promised Tasmanians looking for work the world when they came to office. Sadly, what we have seen could not be further from the truth.

The ABS jobs figures released today mark the tenth straight month of decline in the trend number of employed people and the trend proportion of Tasmanians with jobs.

In total, the data tells us more than 5,000 Tasmanians have lost their jobs since last September.

The Government’s plan for job growth has failed because the old parties focus on old, declining resource extraction sectors while taking their eyes off the employment challenges and opportunities of the future.

A recent report from National Australia Bank pointed to the continued structural decline in forestry.

This highlighted the Hodgman Government’s futile and unexplained efforts to put Forestry Tasmania on a financially sustainable footing while apparently walking away from achieving Forest Stewardship Certification.

Other hot topic sectors for the Hodgman Government have been construction and mining. The NAB report made it clear that both have seen a significant decline in employment.

The majority of non-residential building approval categories are in decline, to well below the 2014 State election. The 2013 uplift in housing approvals also appears to be coming to an end.

This is because much of the State Government’s infrastructure funding has gone to roads. In terms of economic contributions it’s fairly meaningless.

Infrastructure investment in assets that aren’t wealth generating assets, like roads, can stimulate short term economic activity in the construction sector, but this declines as soon as the investment ends.

After this, any of the jobs created during the short peak are lost. Clearly, that’s what’s happening, based on the fact that of the estimated 5,000 jobs lost recently, a significant chunk is attributed to the construction sector.

This is a sure sign the Hodgman Government’s investment strategies have been mostly ineffective at growing job numbers.