State jobless rate is still worst in country

TASMANIA'S jobless rate remains the worst in the country, while the state's participation rate is at its lowest in more than eight years.

November Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data, released yesterday, shows that the state's unemployment rate is 7.9 per cent in trend terms.

Tasmania's October figure was 8 per cent.

Australia-wide, the November jobless rate was 5.8 per cent.

The closest another state comes to Tasmania is South Australia, with 6.6 per cent unemployment.

Tasmania's November workforce participation rate, at 59.7 per cent, continues to worsen and is the lowest in Australia.

The figure is also the state's lowest since March 2005, when the rate was 59.6 per cent in trend terms.

Opposition treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein said the statistics confirmed that another 300 Tasmanians lost their jobs in November.

"We have the lowest number of jobs since August 2007," he said.

"A participation rate in freefall as people give up the job hunt, and people leaving the state, are masking the true extent of Tasmania's jobs crisis."

Mr Gutwein said the "toxic Labor-Green minority experiment" had killed jobs, hurt business, driven away investment and had forced Tasmanians to leave the state in droves.

Premier Lara Giddings, however, welcomed the unemployment rate decreasing to 7.9 per cent, the lowest since May.

"It is pleasing that Tasmania was one of only two states to record a fall in the unemployment rate, and it is also encouraging that the number of full-time jobs has held steady," she said.

"Even though Tasmania's unemployment rate is trending down, it remains too high, and there is more work to be done to ensure that people wanting work can find jobs.

"There are a number of extremely encouraging signs that Tasmania's economy is recovering, and this will drive improved job results in the future."

Email: ctang@examiner.com.au

Editorial: Page 34

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