Jobs remain the priority Thu 9 August 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Download hi-res version Unemployment has fallen but more work is needed to create jobs the Premier, Lara Giddings, said today. Today's ABS figures show that unemployment has fallen to 6.9 per cent in trend terms for July - well below the 7.7 per cent recorded by the ABS in April 2012. Only Victoria and Western Australia also recorded a reduction in the unemployment rate. Total employment was effectively steady at 232 900 persons, while the number of unemployed fell by 300 to 17,400 persons. "I am pleased that there are fewer people on the unemployment queue but I will not shy away from admitting that the jobless rate is still too high," Ms Giddings said. "We need more jobs and we will deliver. The Government recently secured 1000 jobs at Bell Bay and we are seeing the NBN rollout create 800 new jobs across the State. "The Asian White Paper and trade mission will also make sure we link Tasmania directly into the biggest jobs engine in the world," Ms Giddings said. "Through our economic development plan we are doubling our dairy and aquaculture industries and quadrupling wine production and we have established a $3 million Innovation Investment Fund to foster new job-creating business opportunities. Ms Giddings said that with $4.5 billion of private sector investment recorded over the past year there was cause for optimism that this would drive further jobs growth. "No doubt the Opposition will try to put a negative spin on the figures, but what Tasmania needs is leadership and confidence. "One thing is certain: you don't create jobs by talking down the economy like the Liberals are doing. "Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein are actively trying to destroy confidence because they think it is in their political interests but it is completely at odds with the interests of the business sector and the broader economy.