Census reveals forestry and logging one of Tasmania’s smallest employers

Census reveals forestry and logging one of Tasmania’s smallest employers New census data reveals that forestry and logging in Tasmania employed only 975 workers in 2011 making it one of the smallest employers in the state, according to analysis by The Australia Institute. The health care industry, on the other hand, employed 24,151 in 2011.

The Australia Institute’s Executive Director Dr Richard Denniss said while logging and forestry have played a prominent role in Tasmania’s politics for the past thirty years the new census data shows this prominence is unrelated to its economic significance.

In August The Australia Institute released polling that found that the average Tasmanian believed that 19 per cent of the state’s workforce is directly employed in forestry and logging.

“There is clearly a significant mismatch between the picture of the Tasmanian economy in the official statistics and the picture of the economy in the minds of ordinary Tasmanians,” said Dr Denniss.

“One explanation for this mismatch is that Tasmanians have confused the size of the political debate about logging with the size of the industry itself.”

The census also shows that while logging and forestry shed 472 jobs in Tasmania between 2006 and 2011 around a quarter of the new jobs created in Tasmania over that same period were in the health care industry.

“Debate about the ability of logging in Tasmania to create jobs is a case of the tail wagging the dog. The biggest employers, health care, retail and education, together employ more than fifty times as many Tasmanians as logging and forestry,” concluded Dr Denniss.

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