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Growth in benefit numbers slowing

Growth in benefit numbers slowing

The growth in the number of people on benefits slowed to 0.6 percent in September says Acting Social Development Minister Judith Collins.

After steep growth in benefit numbers from March 2008 to the end of 2009, the increase is starting to slow down.

There are 338,212 New Zealanders currently receiving a benefit.

“But last month, more than 5,000 beneficiaries made the move from welfare into work and I applaud every one of them,” says Mrs Collins.

The number of people on an Unemployment Benefit rose by 1,371 in September.

But in the same month 5,890 people cancelled their benefits because they found jobs.

“Work and Income continues to help people find work, with dedicated work brokers and through industry partnerships,” says Mrs Collins.

The increase in the unemployment benefit is expected for September, with the biggest increases associated with seasonal factors.

Primary sector areas with the largest monthly increase in Unemployment Benefits included the East Coast (343), Nelson (216) and Bay of Plenty (202).

The number of young people on an Unemployment Benefit is shrinking as a proportion of all recipients.

“Young people are no longer driving up Unemployment Benefit figures as a direct result of National’s Job Ops and Community Max schemes,” says Mrs Collins.

So far 7,729 young people have taken up a Job Ops position and 3,990 have benefited from a Community Max position.

ENDS

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