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OECD credits unemployment fall to welfare reforms

21 July 2005 Media Statement

OECD credits unemployment fall to welfare reforms

A claim by an Otago academic that economic growth alone led to the rapid fall in benefit numbers ignores an evaluation from the OECD that shows Labour's employment policies were critical to slashing benefit numbers, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

"You don't achieve the lowest unemployment in 19 years, and the lowest overall beneficiary population in 17 years without active employment policies," Steve Maharey said.

The OECD Employment Outlook 2005 – released last month – praised policies like Jobs Jolt and Work for You. The report said that the rapid fall in unemployment since 2003 could be largely attributed to these programmes.

ENDS

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