Vying to claim credit on jobs

BOTH the new and former state governments have taken credit for the latest drop in Tasmania's unemployment rate.

The latest jobs figures show the state's jobless rate is at 7.4 per cent in trend terms for March, down from a revised 7.5 per cent in February.

It is the eighth consecutive fall since the unemployment rate peaked at 8.2 in July prompting a jobs crisis forum.

Yesterday, Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff said the figures were a sign that under a majority Liberal government, confidence was starting to return to the state's economy.

``Our unemployment rate is still too high, but Tasmania now has a Liberal government that is focused on creating jobs,'' Mr Rockliff said. 

The Liberals have promised to lower the unemployment rate to the national average, which fell to 5.8 per cent last month.

Labor claimed the figures confirmed the economy had turned the corner during its term of government.

``The Liberals obsessively talked down the economy despite positive signs of improvement across a range of sectors including employment,'' Mr Green said.

``In government we managed our way through very difficult financial circumstances and the tough decisions we had to make are now starting to pay off.''

Mr Green said the Liberals could take no credit for yesterday's improvement. 

``The acid is now on them to ensure that threats to the Australian Antarctic Division and Qantas Tasmanian call centre do not damage emerging signs of confidence,'' he said.

Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff

Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff


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