PREMIER Lara Giddings says it is premature to judge the effectiveness of the state government's $24.5 million jobs package, as the state's "unacceptably high" unemployment rate continues to rise.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics jobs figures, released yesterday, show the unemployment rate hit 7.4 per cent in trend terms in January, up from 7.2 the previous month.
The total number of people in full-time employment fell 200 to 147,300 last month, while the total number of people in work fell 600, leaving 18,500 Tasmanians looking for work.
A year ago, Tasmania's jobless rate was 6.7 per cent in trend terms with the state shedding 3900 full-time jobs in 12 months.
Liberal finance spokesman Peter Gutwein said the data was proof that the Tasmanian Jobs Package was a "complete failure" and the Labor-Green minority government had destroyed jobs.
Ms Giddings said it was "ridiculous" to judge the 18-month plan, which aims to create more than 3300 new jobs, just one month into the new year.
"Many of the measures in the package only came into effect on January 1 and will take some time to show results," Ms Giddings said.
"The package also includes funding for infrastructure projects which will soon get under way."
Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief economist Phil Bayley agreed measures like payroll tax exemption and the doubling of the first-home buyers grant would take time to work.
He said the high January unemployment rate was a reflection of the difficult economic period in the September-October quarter.
"It tends to be a lagging indicator," Mr Bayley said.
The TCCI supports the jobs package, but Mr Bayley said deeper reforms were needed to address the problem long-term.