'Work still needed' on job figures

TREASURER Peter Gutwein says there is still work to be done when it comes to jobless figures.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday showed the number of people in work across the state increased by 700 in May.

The unemployment rate remained steady at 7.5 per cent, and Mr Gutwein said it was "still too high".

The participation rate - an indicator of people in or actively seeking work - has also increased to its highest level in three years at 60.9 per cent.

"There is still a lot of work to be done and the government is committed to tackling the jobs crisis and rebuilding our economy," Mr Gutwein said.

The ABS data shows there have been 7900 new, full-time jobs created in the state since May last year.

Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said any improvement was good news, but she would wait to see regional breakdowns.

"We will be interested in how it's going from a regional perspective," Ms Tetlow said.

She said members in job recruitment in Northern Tasmania reported they were busy across the board.

"It could be an indicator there is a boost in confidence in the business sector," she said.

Ms Tetlow said she was concerned with the forthcoming job losses at ACL Bearing.

Opposition finance spokesman Scott Bacon said it was encouraging to see more jobs in the state.

"But with unemployment remaining steady, it is far too soon for anyone in Tasmania to rest on their laurels and the new government must build on this growth," Mr Bacon said.

National figures: Page 22


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