Tasmania’s North and South are thriving, but the North-West remains Tasmania’s economic problem child.
The North-West and West Coast combined lost 1400 jobs in a year, while the other regions gained thousands.
Australian Bureau of Statistics original terms figures showed Launceston and the North-East gained 2600 jobs on a 12-month average basis in the year to July, taking its total employment to 68,500.
Its unemployment rate dropped from 6.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent and the number of unemployed residents fell by 700 to 4100.
Participation increased from 59.5 per cent to 60.7 per cent, which would generally be interpreted as people becoming more confident about finding work.
Greater Hobart gained 4700 jobs, taking its total to 112,300.
Its unemployment rate edged up from 5.9 per cent to 6 per cent as more people started to actively look for work.
Women were being hit particularly hard in the North-West labour market.
The North-West and West Coast combined averaged a historically high 51,500 jobs per month in the year to July 2017.
The region’s monthly average plunged to 50,100 in the year to July 2018.
Employed females decreased by 1100 to 23,400, the ABS estimated.
Employed males were down by 400 to 26,700.
The regional unemployment rate surged from 5.8 per cent to 6.4 per cent.
Shadow Economic and Regional Development Minister Anita Dow said: “We need to ask the question why are we not seeing the full benefits of the enhanced global and domestic economic conditions flowing through to the North-West Coast?”
“In the short term, it would be great to see the Deputy Premier (Jeremy Rockliff), as a member for Braddon and Minister for Education and Training, take some more aggressive steps to understand better this decrease in job numbers, enabling the government to plan together with stakeholders to begin to address what appears to be a regional skills problem.”
The region’s employment woes were in sharp contrast to statewide figures released earlier in August.
They showed Tasmania had gained 2500 jobs in the year to July in trend terms, including 1600 full-time jobs.