Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Number on unemployment benefit hits 20-year low

Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South

9 May 2006 Media Statement

Number on unemployment benefit hits 20-year low

The number of New Zealanders receiving an unemployment benefit has reached levels not seen in 20 years, Social Development and Employment Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

Mr Benson-Pope says the last time unemployment was this low KZ7 was racing off Fremantle, Billy T James was our most popular entertainer, women were wearing leg warmers and Dave Dobbyn's Slice of Heaven was topping the charts.

As at the end of the March quarter 2006, the total number of New Zealanders receiving an unemployment benefit was 44,549. This is 116,579 fewer than when Labour took office in 1999 – a drop in the number receiving an unemployment benefit of 72.4 percent. In the year to March 2006, the total number of people receiving an unemployment benefit fell by a further 10,387 or 18.9 percent.

"The last time unemployment was at levels similar to this was the mid 1980s," said Mr Benson-Pope. "This big drop in the number of unemployed has been a driver in the overall reduction in the number of people receiving benefits."

In the year to March 2006 the total number of beneficiaries in New Zealand fell by a further 8,374 or 2.9 percent. Under Labour over 117,000 fewer people are reliant on a benefit today than when Labour took office, a drop in the number of beneficiaries of nearly 30 percent. This in turn has seen a 20 percent reduction in the number of children living in benefit dependant households – that’s 56,600 children.

"These results have been achieved by opening up real opportunities – not by impoverishing beneficiaries or placing them in make work schemes," said Mr Benson-Pope. "Let’s not forget that under National unemployment grew 11 percent in the 1990s, so that in taking office in 1999 there were 161,000 receiving an unemployment benefit – as at the end of the March quarter this year, there are just 44,550."

Unemployment 1986 - 2006:
Year Unemployed*
1986 42,405
1987 63,922
1988 86,782
1989 123,565
1990 149,078
1991 140,432
1992 156,744
1993 159,623
1994 147,244
1995 127,280
1996 107,330
1997 122,427
1998 134,573
Mar 1999 144,895
Dec 1999 161,128
Mar 2000 140,157
2001 128,529
2002 114,627
2003 100,986
2004 75,164
2005 54,936
2006 44,549
(*Data at the end of March; 1986-1996 all ages, 1996-2006 working aged only.)


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news