TASMANIAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said the state must become much better at connecting people with available jobs in their regions.
"We need to be much smarter and more innovative about how we mobilise and upskill unemployed people so they are properly able to find ongoing work in their areas," Mr Bailey said.
"It's absolutely critical for individuals and communities that we bridge the gap between what jobs people think are out there and those that actually are out there," he said.
"Only then can we hope to effectively link people with real employment opportunities."
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the dismal long-term unemployment figures were an indictment on the former government.
"These are damning numbers and result largely from Labor and the Greens shutting down the forest industry and buying out forestry jobs which hit the Northern economy hardest of all," Mr Gutwein said.
"Our policies . . . are about changing the fundamental drivers of investment across all regions and early signs in relation to business confidence and investment show we are on the right track."
Mr Gutwein said the government remained committed to bringing the state's unemployment rate in line with the national rate by the end of its first term.
The latest figures come as Lyons Liberal MHR Eric Hutchinson leads a push to double the wage subsidy paid to employers who take on long-term jobless staff.
The changes would see businesses net $6500 for every new full-time staff hired who had been unemployed for more than six months.