JOBS have been the focus both in and out of the election campaign in Tasmania this week.
First, there was the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry jobs forum in Launceston on Wednesday.
The forum was attended by representatives from about 40 businesses and produced a list of ideas for the government, some of which Premier Lara Giddings said she would take up.
Opposition Leader Will Hodgman pointed out that many of the ideas - such as identifying needless red tape, dealing with multiple confusing planning schemes and a local procurement policy for government tenders - were already Liberal policies.
"It's hardly surprising that you get good ideas when you talk to business. We've been doing it for years - not just for one day," Mr Hodgman tweeted.
On Thursday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott headed to Devonport to announce the first leg of a "special assistance" package for Tasmania.
The $6.5 million policy would see employers given a $3250 one-off payment if they hired a person who had been on the Newstart allowance for at least six months, payable at the six-month mark of their employment.
Mr Abbott said Tasmania needed to be made a "special economic zone" - but not in the formal sense, he assured his travelling press-pack, just in the sense that it received "special attention".
He will unveil the rest of the Tasmanian-only initiatives this coming week.
Critics of the proposed scheme have said it's not that different to the existing Centrelink Wage Connect program, which offers wage subsidies to employers who hire the very long-term unemployed.
Tasmanian opposition treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein said he understood the Abbott bonus would supplement existing programs.
Mr Abbott said the program would be rolled out as a trial at first, capped at 2000 jobseekers.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics job figures for July released this week, that still leaves 19,000 Tasmanians unemployed.
Of course, not all of those unemployed may want a job.
At least, that's what Ms Giddings said when asked to comment on Tasmania's 8.4 per cent unemployment rate.
The state's July unemployment rate is its highest in 10 years and the worst in Australia by two percentage points - ahead of the South Australian rate of 6.4 per cent and the national average of 5.7 per cent.
In a line unflatteringly reminiscent of a French queen extolling the virtues of cake to a starving populace, Ms Giddings said: "There are some people who are making the choice not to take the job."
This is probably true, just as it's probably true that most who don't apply for a particular job do so because it's inappropriate for their skills, requirements or location, not just for kicks.
Ms Giddings went on to talk about the importance of being prepared to start at the bottom, citing the career trajectory of world-renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda who began his work in hospitality as a dishwasher.
Which is all very well if you are talking to unemployed young people, but it's a bit hard to swallow if you are a 40-year-old breadwinner with decades of experience in a now-reduced field.
Of course, people do need to move into new industries as old ones retract - Tasmania is, as Ms Giddings often says, an economy in transition.
It's also not helpful to talk, as the opposition does, of returning to the same number of jobs in industries like forestry when the global market has moved on.
But gushing to an ex-forest contractor about a bright new future as a dish pig is going to get some hackles up.
At the very least, it provides traction to the Liberals' claim that the government is out of touch.