A heavier reliance on JobKeeper and other federal COVID-19 supports are casting a dark shadow on the future of the Tasmanian economy.
A forecast from Deloitte's indicated that more Tasmanians on average were supported by coronavirus supplements during 2020, prompting fears that the state may struggle to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.
"As we move into the New Year an ominous grey cloud looms over the Apple Isle - namely the expiry of the COVID federal support measures," the report said.
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"Key federal dollars have just two more months to run, and their withdrawal will hurt."
The report suggested that "serious consideration" needed to be given to how the state government would tackle the stopping of the supplements, combined with "ongoing structural issues that have constrained growth for decades".
Data from the federal department of treasury reiterated a hefty reliance of Tasmanians on the supplements, particularly in the North.
In September Launceston about two per cent of the population were receiving the JobKeeper subsidy.
The 1672 people on the payment were the highest number of recipients in any postcode in Tasmania.
Across Devonport and Burnie 1108 people were receiving the payment, about 2.6 per cent of the population across the towns.
The report said that the number of JobKeeper recipients in Tasmania, and the highest rate of unemployment in the country, were indicative of a weak job market.
The report showed the Tasmanian economy traditionally relied heavily on export services - tourism and international education, and that in 2020-21 international tourist arrivals were predictably annihilated by the impacts of COVID-19.
However, it forecast that virus would cause a reverberative effect on the number of arrivals for years to come.
The combination of a weak job market and a lack of tourists and travellers, according to the report, could be a limiting factor for the Tasmanian economy.
The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Michael Bailey said the report should act as a prompt for proactivity about responding to the predicted effects of the end of JobKeeper.
"JobKeeper was vital because it helped people keep their jobs and also boosted spending in tens of thousands of Tasmanian businesses in areas like retail and hospitality. Without that spending boost, it could cause the economy to slow down, which would impact on jobs," he said.
"The government needs to articulate a clear plan that includes incentives for businesses to retain current staff and hire more people, incentives for people to shop local and measures to boost confidence in the local economy so that we can ride out the challenges that we will face at the end of March."
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