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DWI Placements Up

DWI Placements Up And Job Seeker Register Totals Down

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today released Department of Work and Income (DWI) job seeker register statistics as at 30 November 2000 and details of placements.

The figures, supplied in response to Parliamentary questions, record those seeking the assistance of DWI and include people on a benefit, people not on a benefit, spouses of people on benefits and people in part-time work. People are encouraged to go on to the register if they are actively looking for work.

There are currently 217,051 job seekers on the register, down from 233,411 a year ago. Part of the reduction in the number on the register is attributable to the fact that the Department has changed the way it lapses people off the register who are no longer actively seeking work. This saw approximately 10,000 beneficiaries taken off the register between October and November 2000.

"I am particularly pleased to see reductions in the total number of persons on the register in the two regions that have suffered the most over the past decade – year on year the total number on the register is down by 856 in Northland, and 2154 in the East Coast region.

"I am also releasing placement information for each of DWI's offices which records the number of people who have been helped into employment. It is pleasing to note that in most cases this has increased.

"I welcome the reduction in the total number of persons on the register. The Government is committed to a social assistance and welfare system that is about making work pay – the reduction in the register and the increase in DWI placements indicate that we are starting to make in-roads.

"The register is not a measure of unemployment. The internationally recognised tool for measuring unemployment is Statistics New Zealand's Household Labour Force Survey and it currently shows unemployment at a 12-year low – 5.9%, and long-term unemployment coming down.

"The DWI job seeker register is an administrative database used to help provide assistance to people actively seeking work. This includes those working part-time who are looking to work extra hours. Accordingly the number of weeks a person
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has been on the register continues to increase even if the person is in part-time work. That is why it is inappropriate to view duration on the register as a measure of long-term unemployment.

"The register does however reflect some of the dimensions of structural unemployment – it is a reminder that there is still much to be done to address labour market disadvantage as one element of the Government's commitment to reducing disparities," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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