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Unemployment Rises For Single Parent Families

Media Release

Unemployment Rises For Single Parent Families


Friday, May 9, 2008

The latest Household Labour Force Survey shows significant increases for unemployment among one parent families with dependent children.

Welfare commentator, Lindsay Mitchell, says that much of the ground gained over the past two years appears to have been lost over just one quarter.

"Between December 2007 and March 2008 households with one parent and dependent children only, where nobody works, grew from 38.9 to 45.6 percent, a level not seen since June 2006. For households of one parent with dependent and adult children , with nobody employed, the rate grew from 13.5 to 21.7 percent, a level not seen since June 2005."

"These statistics are not yet reflected in total DPB numbers which are affected by more factors than just unemployment. But prospects for further reduction in DPB numbers are not bright. This is also confirmed by Treasury predictions."

"Labour has talked a great deal about their DPB reforms and a 13 percent reduction in numbers since 1999. In reality much of the reduction was a sideways shift from being on a partial DPB payment to being on the In Work payment. There are also now more single parents on other benefits. The effect of these reforms now appears to have stalled."

"In contrast the US welfare reforms produced a 67 percent fall in families dependent on AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) which became TANF ( Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ). If Labour had moved decisively to return the DPB to a temporary status when they took office they could have achieved far more. As it is they wasted a golden opportunity. Let's hope that the opportunity will re-present for a government with more determination to reduce welfare dependency and child poverty. "

ends


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