Top employing industries in Tasmania
While Tasmania is the smallest employing state, there are employment opportunities available across all industries.
Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employing industry (accounting for 16% of the workforce), followed by Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services.
Tasmania has the oldest workforce of any state or territory, with 46% aged 45 years or older. Part-time work is also relatively common (39% of state employment, the largest share in Australia). Workers in this state are less likely than the national average to have a bachelor degree or higher, although they are more likely to have completed a certificate III or higher vocational qualification.
Tasmania has the most regionally diverse workforce in Australia, with more than half of all workers employed outside of Hobart.
The impact of COVID-19 on the Tasmania labour market
Following the onset of COVID-19 and the shutdown of non-essential services and trading restrictions, employment in Tasmania fell sharply between March 2020 and the trough in May 2020 (down by 18,100 or 7.0%).
Over the same period, 15,400 people left the labour force, pushing the participation rate down, from 61.0% in March 2020, to 57.4% in May 2020, the lowest rate recorded since April 2002. In addition, the unemployment rate rose sharply, from 5.0% in March 2020, to 6.4% in May 2020, before peaking at 7.9% in October 2020, the highest rate recorded since September 2013.
Reflecting the decline in COVID-19 cases and subsequent easing in restrictions, however, employment in Tasmania rebounded strongly, increasing by 23,200 between May 2020 and July 2021, and is now 5,100 (or 2.0%) above its pre-pandemic level. Moreover, the participation rate in the state increased to 61.3% in July 2021, while the unemployment rate is now below the rate recorded in March 2020, standing at 4.5% in July 2021.
While the outbreak of COVID-19 cases across a number of jurisdictions has increased the level of uncertainty across much of the country, it is encouraging to note that there has been robust growth in recruitment activity in Tasmania (reflecting its COVID-19 free status), as measured by the Internet Vacancy Index, with job advertisements now 1.7 times higher in July 2021 than their pre-pandemic level.
Employment by region, Tasmania
|Employment May 2021||5 year change to May 2021||Part-time||Female||Aged 15 to 24 years||Aged 55 years or older||Bachelor degree or higher||Cert III or higher VET qual||No post-school qual|
|Launceston and North East||70.3||5.3||8.1||36||49||15||25||25||32||37|
|West and North West||48.5||-3.1||-6.1||37||47||14||27||18||36||37|
Sources: ABS, Labour Force (seasonally adjusted and annual averages of original data); ABS, Characteristics of Employment; ABS, Education and Work; National Skills Commission, Internet Vacancy Index.