Our construction blitz combined with increasing levels of confidence are underpinning our state’s economic recovery.
Dwelling approvals rose a remarkable 66.5 per cent in December 2020, the largest monthly increase in Australia, more than six times national growth.
In December, there were 463 approvals in seasonally adjusted terms, which is the highest number approved in a month in Tasmania since the series began in 1983, again a remarkable outcome.
What’s more, in the 2020 calendar year there were 3473 dwelling units approved, which is the highest number of approvals in a 12 month period in more than a quarter of a century.
Our extremely successful Homebuilder Scheme is stimulating our economy and building confidence state-wide, creating a solid pipeline of work for our building and construction industries for the months and years ahead. Since Homebuilder opened in July last year, we have received more than 2000 applications, with over 600 applications registered in just the first two weeks of this year alone.
On top of this, Homebuilder and our investment of $300 million into social and affordable housing in the 2020-21 Budget is leading to more jobs and a strong pipeline of work across the forward estimate period. While job vacancies in Tasmania grew 20.7 per cent over the year to December 2020, construction-related job vacancies have nearly doubled over the year. Job vacancies for machinery operators and drivers grew 96 per cent over the year, while job vacancies for labourers grew 83 per cent over the year. These are the highest and second highest, respectively, annual growth rates in the nation.
Yesterday’s ABS data showed that jobs grew 2 per cent in the first two weeks of January, higher than national growth of 1.3 per cent. Since the height of the pandemic’s impacts in May, more than three quarters of Tasmanians have returned to work, and the Government is focussed on growing our economy, creating jobs, and getting even more Tasmanians back into work as we continue to rebuild a stronger Tasmania.
The State Budget provides a landmark $5 billion infrastructure program across the next four years to support around 25,000 jobs. This record investment backs Tasmanian businesses by making it easier for them to employ with a $22 million investment to significantly boost jobs for apprentices, trainees and youth employees.
We have always said that we would build our way towards recovery, and this is exactly what we are doing.