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Benefit cancellations outnumber applications

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development and Employment
Minister for Youth Affairs

12 October 2009 Media Release

Benefit cancellations outnumber applications

For the first time since 2008, the number of people receiving the Unemployment Benefit has dropped says the Minister for Social Development and Employment.

Paula Bennett has confirmed more people went off the Unemployment Benefit than applied for it in the week ending October 2nd - a net loss of 90 jobseekers.

“At one stage mid-year we had an average of 1300 people joining the Unemployment Benefit, so to have more people cancelling their benefit than applying for one is encouraging.

“While it’s far too early to be looking at this as a trend – the result for this particular week is very positive.

“I’m naturally cautious when it comes to weekly unemployment numbers, because there can be variation between them. However, I didn’t want this week’s positive result to pass without thanking the staff at Work and Income for their effort in assisting jobseekers into work.

“We boosted frontline staff numbers at Work and Income by more than 300 in August, and I believe we’re reaping the rewards of that.

“We’ve seen record numbers of job vacancies coming in to Work and Income – about 1000 every week. But those are just empty positions, without someone to match a jobseeker to them.

“The Government’s Job Ops and Community Max initiatives have been successful in placing more than 1200 young people into employment opportunities – with more available to be filled.

“We know there’s a great deal of work to be done to get those on the Unemployment Benefit into jobs. Quite simply, we’re not out of the woods yet,” Paula Bennett says.

ENDS

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