THE federal government will not consider bringing forward a key unemployment-busting policy despite new figures keeping Tasmania's jobless result at decade-long highs.
The state's unemployment rate in trend terms is 8.5 per cent; steady after August's result was naturally revised by the ABS down from 8.6 per cent.
It's a welcome reverse after eight consecutive rises in unemployment, although Tasmania still sits adrift of the national rate, at 5.6 per cent, by almost 3 per cent.
New Employment Minister Eric Abetz said he was not impressed with Tasmania's performance.
``When the national figures bounce down, and Tasmania remains where it is you know there is clearly a trend in the other direction, and it's a very worrying trend,'' he said.
Despite the state's woes, Senator Abetz said his party's election policy to offset the costs of hiring long-term unemployed would have to wait until at least July next year to begin.
``My view on these things is that it's always been to get them right than to be a hero . . . we want to be sure it will be a policy that actually works,'' he said.
The policy provides $3250 to Tasmanian businesses hiring jobseekers who have been on Newstart Allowance for six months or longer and then continues to employ them on a full-time basis for a period of at least six months.
The result is an economic and political headache for the state government, which now has 21,300 unemployed Tasmanians, up 100 on August.
The lack of improvement allowed opposition treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein to continue his attack on the government, calling the unemployment rate ``shameful''.
Mr Gutwein pointed the finger at Premier Lara Giddings, saying since she became premier almost 11,000 full-time jobs had disappeared.
``When the jobs decline started late last year, the Premier had the gall to say that unemployment had stabilised. That was when the unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent,'' he said.
Ms Giddings took a thinly veiled swipe at the Liberals in response, saying ``no political party has the ability to turn this problem around overnight''.