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Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Hon Carmel Sepuloni

Minister for Social Development and Employment

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit.

“This Government’s plan to increase work focused support for Jobseekers is paying off,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“All up Benefit numbers fell 11,193 over the June quarter, there are now 354,744 people receiving a Main Benefit, with 110,790 people receiving a Job Seeker Work Ready Benefit.

“Most of this fall comes on the back of another big month for people moving off a benefit and into employment. Around 31,240 people left a benefit last quarter for a job, the second highest number of people finding work since records began.

“The statistics released today buck the seasonal trend which usually sees a rise in benefit numbers over the June Quarter. The size of the fall over the June quarter is a significant milestone in our recovery from COVID-19.

“While we have been successful in getting those who have recently lost their jobs back into work, what is pleasing with today’s statistics is that nearly 10,000 people who have been receiving a benefit for over a year found work in the June quarter.”

“Our recovery is creating jobs and getting New Zealanders back to work but we are also partnering with industry to ensure businesses are getting the skills they need.

“Some of the most successful programmes include Flexi-Wage which has seen 4,782 people placed into employment since it was expanded in February, and Apprenticeship Boost which now has supported 30,031 people into a trade.

“I’ve been particularly impressed by the results from the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs with 1,326 sustainable full-time jobs created across regional New Zealand.

“We know that there are jobs available in the market right now, and we remain focused on supporting as many New Zealanders as possible into work. Over previous Budgets we have invested heavily in work focused case management; initiatives include,

  • 263 new frontline staff in Budget 2019 to help people into work.
  • Invested $150m in Budget 2020 to help people into work
  • Invested a further $99m in work focused case management and services in Budget 2021.
  • Invested $86m to sustain the additional frontline work focused staff we employed through COVID-19.

“I encourage all businesses who are looking for workers to contact MSD. There are subsidies available to help you with the cost of training employees,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

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