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Beneficiaries still finding work in tough times

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development, Employment & Youth Affairs

7 December 2010 Media Statement
Beneficiaries still finding work in tough times

There are 2,250 fewer New Zealanders on Unemployment Benefits since November, but the overall number on benefits has risen by 1.2%

As usual with universities finishing for summer, an influx of students (5,802) going onto benefits pushed overall benefit numbers up.

“But we are still seeing jobseekers find work, in fact more than 8,000 people went off benefits and into work last month,” says Ms Bennett.

Of the total 8,384 people who cancelled their benefits because they found jobs, 5,418 had been on an Unemployment Benefit.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see that 2,641 Maori went off welfare and into work. It’s early days but let’s hope this trend continues,” says Ms Bennett.

“I’m backing each individual who searched for and found a job and no longer needs financial help from Government,” says Ms Bennett.

Work and Income has around 4,000 new vacancies a month which front line staff and work brokers match to individual’s skills.

The biggest contributor to the rise in overall benefits in November was due to the influx of students onto benefits.

But the numbers of those on Invalids, Sickness and Domestic Purposes Benfits also rose in November.

“We now have 342,076 people on benefits - that’s ten percent of the working age population – we’ve a long way to go to improve this picture,” says Ms Bennett.


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