TASMANIA will get back to its highest ever number of jobs in 2014-15, according to forecaster Deloitte Access Economics.
However, it expects jobs to go backwards this financial year and only grow marginally in 2012-13, before stronger growth in 2013-14.
The state’s jobless rate will remain high, between 6.5% and 6.4% for the four financial years starting on July 1 this year, according to Access’ March 2012 Business Outlook publication.
Tasmania’s previous jobs record was 241,000 in September 2008, before the global financial crisis.
After the state lost 500 jobs in March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics put total employment at 234,700 in trend terms.
Access expects 241,000 jobs to be reached again in 2014-15 and 243,000 jobs the year after that.
It also expects reasonable growth in gross state product in coming years after a 0.4% contraction in 2011-12.
Access said Tasmania’s economy was on the wrong side of “the two- speed split through this nation”.
It said housing activity was flat with few immediate prospects.
“And earlier hopes that business investment spending in the state might lift seem to be fading once more.
“Further, while retail spending is lifting a little, it is still at levels below where it was back in 2009, with little indication of what might turn it around any time soon.”
Access expressed concern about the state’s slow population growth.
“Importantly, the implications of weak population growth are now more worrying than they were at the turn of the century.
“Back then, Tasmania’s baby boomers were still working. Now they’re retiring fast, meaning that a given rate of population growth provides less potential people power than it used to.”
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.