Benefits continue to decrease

  • Paula Bennett
Social Development and Employment Youth Affairs

The number of New Zealanders on benefits has fallen for five months consecutively says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“I’m delighted to see nearly 800 fewer people on Unemployment Benefits since May and 94% of that reduction is of young people,” says Ms Bennett.

It’s the first time that the Unemployment Benefit has decreased in the month of June for four years.

There are now 56,264 people on an Unemployment Benefit, that’s down from a high of 68,369 in January last year.

“Predictions had Unemployment Benefits rising to about 100,000 post-recession, but we never reached those levels and in fact it has decreased by more than 9,000 in the last nine months.”

Nearly half of the decrease in Unemployment Benefits over the last year has been made up of young people aged 18-24.

“Last month 7,800 people went off welfare, into work and it’s particularly positive that more than 2,700 young people cancelled benefits for jobs.”

There were 327,817 people on all benefits in June.

There are currently 6,342 people on Unemployment Benefits in Canterbury which is 962 more than the week before the earthquake. 

However, since the February earthquake, total benefit numbers in Canterbury have decreased by 670.