Tasmania’s economy is “doing OK” but the perennial problems of low job numbers and slow population growth show no sign of going away, a new report has found.
The Deloitte Access Economics report found stable growth in most areas, particularly retail, domestic visitor numbers and house prices in Hobart.
Deloitte’s Chris Richardson said this was largely due to Tasmania not being impacted by the “mining bust” and strong spending in recent years.
“This is a state that since the middle of 2013 has been spending at the same rate as the rest of Australia,” he said.
“That is a relatively good outcome given that Tasmania has rather weaker population growth.”
The report noted that while the state’s population growth had been the strongest it in five years, it was still weak in comparison to the rest of the country.
Mr Richardson also noted that employment was still a problem, and there were fewer full-time jobs.
“Over the past five years or so there’s been no net gain in jobs in Tasmania,” he said.
Population growth key to housing fix
Deloitte found housing construction rates had also dropped.
Mr Richardson believes the first-home builders grant would help correct this, but it was not a long-term fix.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein has welcomed the report.
“The three areas highlighted by Deloitte Access Economics — tourism, investment and retail — are three of the most important to Tasmania’s economy and which the Hodgman Government has worked hard to support,” he said.
Mr Gutwein said while encouraging, more work was needed.
“That is why job creation and economic growth remains our number one priority, and why we have implemented a Northern Economic Stimulus package, so that we can continue to grow the economy and create jobs,” he said.
Online Source: www.abc.net.au