Employment rate remains steady Thu 14 March 2013 Scott Bacon Minister for Finance The Minister for Finance, Scott Bacon, said employment data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown a more encouraging outlook for jobs in Tasmania. Today's ABS figures have shown the trend unemployment rate remained steady in February 2013 at 7.1% (revised down from 7.4%). Overall employment levels were also unchanged with total employment at 232,800 persons and unemployment down marginally to 17,800 persons. "While it is encouraging that labour market has stabilised, the unemployment rate is still too high," he said. "We need to continue to work with the private sector to grow jobs - that is why we announced the Tasmanian Jobs Package which will bring forward $375m of new investment and support more than 3000 new jobs. "Many of these measures in the Jobs Package like the $15,000 First Home Builders Boost and the Payroll Tax Rebate for new jobs have only just taken effect, and so their impact will not be reflected in these figures. "We have also had one of the biggest job announcements in Tasmania's history with 750 new jobs at the Vodafone contact centre." Mr Bacon said that there are also positive signs that business and consumer confidence is picking up. "The NAB Business Survey this week showed that confidence and trading conditions in Tasmania were now better than the national average. "Similarly the recent growth in retail trade is a sign of a more confident consumer."