The cost of working in Tasmania

The benefits of relocating to Tasmania are found in the wonderful lifestyle and lower cost of living.
But, there is a price to pay.

Lisa Taylor, Principal of, writes:

I am regularly contacted by people wanting to relocate to Tasmania. These people have usually identified that Tasmania will provide for their lifestyle of choice (understandably!), but they have concerns about the opportunities for meaningful employment here.

Ten years ago Tasmania was an economy in despair and was largely inaccessible to ‘mainlanders’, primarily due to the prohibitive transport costs. With the introduction of low-fare airlines and daily ferry crossings by the Spirit of Tasmania came a greater understanding of the State and particularly of its affordable housing. Tasmania became the land of opportunity, for people and for investment.

This opening up of Tasmania stimulated economic activity. The growth in business confidence, consumer confidence, building approvals, consumer spending and private investment (driven by high levels of infrastructure investment by the State government) was almost exponential. From 1998 to 2005, over 30,000 new jobs were created in Tasmania.

While this rate of growth has slowed, commitments have already been made for significant investments that will drive the State’s economy well into 2010. This confidence will maintain the demand for labour, particularly skilled labour, in a number of industry sectors.

Skills sought in Tasmania are:

  • Accountants
  • Health professionals, particularly nurses and allied health professionals
  • Trades people, particularly those fully qualified
  • Chefs
  • Engineers
  • Hospitality professionals
  • ICT professionals, particularly specialised programmers
  • Seasonal labour
  • Teachers

It is projected that by 2011 more Tasmanians will be exiting the workforce than entering it, and our population is ageing, so the demand for labour will continue well in to the future.

your choice

For all choices that are made there is an opportunity cost. In choosing the lifestyle that Tasmania has to offer the opportunity cost is the higher income foregone from working interstate. While Tasmanian wages and conditions are on an upward trend there is still a differential between salaries in a similar position in Tasmania and in a major city on the mainland. As the demand for skilled labour intensifies worldwide this differential is not likely to change.

The questions to ask yourself are, what is the value of a lifestyle in Tasmania? Is it at least equal to the differential? What is the opportunity cost of not relocating to Tasmania?

Lisa Taylor,
Lisa Taylor, Principal of logo is an employment advertising website designed for Tasmanian-based employment vacancies and for people seeking work in Tasmania. also offers a relocation assistance service, providing information and help in finding housing, schooling, childcare and sporting associations.