Tasmanian unemployment in May increased to 4.5 per cent - the second-highest rate in the country behind South Australia - according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
While the number of Tasmanians employed rose 1 per cent, to 264,900, an increase in the numbers seeking work and participating in the workforce meant the state's overall unemployment rate increased to 4.5 per cent. Overall, the seasonally-adjusted national rate of unemployment was unchanged at 3.9 per cent, according to the ABS.
A separate survey result released by the statistics agency yesterday showed this tight national labour market was making it difficult for employers to fill positions. The ABS survey revealed nearly a third of Australian employers were struggling to fill job vacancies, with industries such as hospitality, schools and retail particularly affected.
Steve Old, Tasmanian Hospitality Association chief executive, said his organisation had championed several initiatives aimed at addressing labour shortages.
"Staffing numbers within hospitality has been an ongoing issue," he said.
According to the ABS data, more than 50 per cent of hospitality-sector employers were struggling to fill positions in June, up from 38 per cent in the same period of last year.
The Hospitality Association - the peak industry body for Tasmanian hotels and restaurants - also had strong relationships with training organisations that could train and upskill employees quickly, Mr Old said.
"As the sector continues to recover from two years of hardship we know there are plenty of gaps to fill, and we are committed to recruiting and training people who are eager to pursue a career."
James Cameron, chairman of the George Town Chamber of Commerce, said skills shortages were a big problem in his region of Northern Tasmania.
"Part of it is about the federal government's closure of the borders [throughout the period of the pandemic] causing major strains ... where we would have had students coming in and doing part-time jobs, we now rely on Australians doing those jobs," he said.
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