Benefit figures remain high

  • Paula Bennett
Social Development and Employment

There are 352,707 New Zealanders currently receiving a benefit according to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

"That number rose by 10,631 from November to December 2010," says Ms Bennett.

Unemployment Benefit figures remain high, making up 67,084 of the total number on benefits. An increase of 4,536 over the December month.

The Unemployment Benefit has always increased in the month of December. In December 2009, the number of people on the Unemployment Benefit increased by 7,787.

More than half of the increase this year was driven by young people completing education and training and looking for work.

“These young people are our focus and that’s why Work and Income is providing extensive job search assistance and training,” says Ms Bennett.

More than 15,000 young people enrolled in Universities went onto a benefit over the 2010 holiday period.

As of December 2010, there were 112,865 people on a Domestic Purposes Benefit, 85,105 on an Invalid’s benefit and 59,988 on a Sickness Benefit.

A further 27,665 New Zealanders were on a range of other benefit types as of December.