Chamber urges jobs focus on North

NORTHERN Tasmania should be the focus when it comes to jobs, according to the Launceston Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber recently analysed Australia Bureau of Statistics labour force data and found that Northerners in employment or looking for work had dropped 3 per cent in the past 12 months, below Hobart and the rest of Australia.

In the past 12 months, Northern Tasmania lost 4200 jobs, compared with Greater Hobart, which lost 2700.

Hobart's unemployment numbers are decreasing, while the North's unemployment is the worst in 12 months and is moving in an upward trajectory, having increased 17 per cent in the past year.

Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said this indicated that a large proportion of people had given up looking for work.

Ms Tetlow said the chamber was advocating that jobs needed to be maintained for bigger industries as well as providing an environment that supported small business.

"The figures speaks for themselves," Ms Tetlow said.

"Other parts of regional Tasmania are just as bad if not worse than Northern Tasmania.

"Hobart is cushioned from some of these effects, and there is a strong perception by our members that some politicians in Hobart are actually living in an unrealistic bubble compared to the rest of the state."

The figures do not include people who are "under-employed" and not working as many hours as they would like.

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