Labor welcomes the pre-Christmas bounce reported in the latest employment figures – this is indeed good news for those Tasmanians who’ve found work after such a rugged year in 2020.
But concerns remain about the many unresolved challenges facing our state in the months ahead and there are far too many Tasmanians who are still out of work.
Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said with the March deadline looming for JobKeeper to be cut off the situation threatens to become much worse.
“Entire sections of Tasmania’s economy are rightly worried about wage assistance being withdrawn when the effects of the pandemic are still being felt,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“Traditionally big employers including tourism, hospitality and retail are continuing to feel especially vulnerable in the COVID world.
“Our youth unemployment is the highest in the country at 16.5 percent and Tasmania also has the worst male unemployment rate, with 1400 more men losing their jobs in December.
“Underemployment also continues to be a serious problem with 8.7 percent of employed men and eleven percent of women wanting more hours of work.
“And this is before our tourism and hospitality sectors took such a massive hit after restrictions were re-imposed on travel from New South Wales and Queensland.
“The government claims to be building its way out of COVID, but time and again we’ve seen this government’s infrastructure projects fail to get off the ground.”
Only Labor has a plan to get Tasmania working again.
“Peter Gutwein does not have a plan for jobs, he only has a plan for unemployment.
“The Premier needs to face up to the reality that 20,000 Tasmanians are out of work and searching for jobs that just aren’t there.”
David O’Byrne MP