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Government Action Helps More People Move Off Main Benefit

September Quarter Benefit statistics released today show the number of people receiving a Main Benefit continues to fall year-on-year.

“Our Government have been relentless and deliberate in supporting more people into meaningful employment, education and training,” Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.

There are now 13,731 fewer people on a Main Benefit compared to September 2021 and the number of people receiving Jobseeker Work Ready Benefit also continues to fall. There are now 98,934 people receiving Jobseeker Work Ready, the first time numbers have dipped below 100,000 since April 2020.

“Our strong response to COVID-19 and our economic plan continues to pay dividends, in what continues to be an extremely challenging global environment. That hasn’t diminished our resolve or focus which is reflected by the fact that Benefit numbers have not met the high forecasts from Treasury who predicted 487,500 people would be receiving a Main Benefit by January 2021.

“The September quarter traditionally sees a seasonal rise in Benefit numbers, so to see Jobseeker Work Ready buck the trend shows we are on the right path, with 13 percent less people on Jobseeker Work Ready for over ten years when compared to September 2021,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

As at the end of September, 11.1 percent of working age New Zealanders are receiving a Main Benefit, this is two and a half years on from the beginning of the pandemic and compares to 12.6 percent in the same period after the Global Financial Crisis.

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“Traditionally the September quarter sees a slowdown in the number of people moving into work, however we saw 21,240 people move off a benefit into work during the September quarter. This is around 3,900 more than the same quarter pre-pandemic, showing our investment in front line case management is working.

“With more people moving off benefit and into work, unemployment at a near record low of 3.3 per cent, and incomes growing at a higher rate since records began, it’s clear that while there’s more work to be done, our plan is working,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Click here for The Quarterly Statistics.

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