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Unemployment Benefit numbers drop

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

7 September 2011

Unemployment Benefit numbers drop

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of people on the Unemployment Benefit dropped last month, particularly among youth.

“Unemployment Benefit numbers dropped last month by 1,145 with half of the decrease due to more young people going into work,” says Ms Bennett.

“We’ve consistently kept the focus on young people and Work and Income staff have really taken that to heart and made a big difference.”

The total number of people on the Unemployment Benefit is now 55,974, the lowest it’s been since July 2009.

“The Unemployment Benefit has now dropped 18% since the peak in January last year when 68,369 New Zealanders were on this benefit.

“We’ve also seen the number of young people (18-24 year olds) on the Unemployment Benefit drop by 32% from 23,545 in January 2010 to 15,980.”

Last month 7,238 beneficiaries went off welfare into work.

“By the end of August Work and Income had 380 vacancies for Rugby World Cup jobs, mostly in hospitality and security roles,” says Ms Bennett.

Work and Income get an average of 1,200 new jobs each week, but currently have around 15,000 jobs in total, due to an influx of positions from the Electoral Commission for very short-term election–related jobs.

Recent figures show all advertised job vacancies have continued to grow.

Seek New Zealand figures show new job ads are 16.3% higher than last year and Department of Labour figures show all vacancies have risen 49.7% since the lowest point in June 2009.

There are now 328,355 people on benefits in New Zealand.


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