PREMIER Lara Giddings will fly into a worsening jobs crisis on Sunday when she returns from her Asian trade mission.
As Ms Giddings comes to the end of her two weeks spruiking investment and export opportunities in Indonesia, China and Hong Kong, new figures show Tasmania's unemployment rate rose for the eighth month in a row, hitting 8.6 per cent.
Up from last month's 8.4 per cent, they are the worst figures since April and follow the release earlier this week highlighting the state's sluggish retail sector performance, which was also the worst in the country.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 100 extra people had found full-time work but the number of people out of work grew to 21,500, prompting the state opposition to label the situation as ''catastrophic''.
This time last year unemployment was at 6.9 per cent.
The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is seeking urgent action on recommendations from its jobs forum held early last month.
TCCI chief executive Michael Bailey said reforms to the procurement process to make it easier for Tasmanian businesses to win government contracts was a good first step but urgent action on 13 other proposals had been put on hold while Ms Giddings was away.
``We'll certainly be getting into the Premier's ear as soon as she returns,'' Mr Bailey said.
While the unemployment results were gloomy, Mr Bailey said there were signs the economy was turning around, such as improving building approvals.
``The unemployment rate is a lag indicator so I'd expect that to certainly start to stabilise,'' Mr Bailey said.
Mr Bailey said the Coalition's victory last weekend had also injected some energy into the market.
Acting Treasurer Scott Bacon said there was no overnight quick fix.
``We have a long-term jobs plan around economic diversification and playing to our natural strengths and we will continue with our strategy and jobs will remain our top priority,'' he said.