Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work

The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Our response to COVID has helped to create a resilient labour market which in turn has ensured our economy remains strong. Protecting jobs and livelihoods, and supporting more jobseekers into work will continue to be a key priority of the Government,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see more people are moving from benefit into work. The 2021 December quarter was the highest number of exits into work for a December quarter since electronic records began in 1996.

“Over numerous Budgets we’ve invested heavily in work focused frontline case management, and these figures show that our Government’s investment is beginning to deliver results.

“A high point continues to be the success that front line work focused case management is having connecting people to work that have been on benefit for longer periods.

“People on a benefit for 1-2 years and four years or more getting into work increased by 96.9 percent and 93.2 percent respectively. Those on a benefit for 2-4 years saw the year-on-year exit into work rise by 129.8 per cent.

“We know that the longer you are on a benefit the harder it is finding employment, but by focusing on this group we are starting to make inroads.

“There is still a lot more work to be done and we have yet to see the impact of Omicron on the employment market, but there is a lot to be reassured about in these latest figures, including the affirmation that both New Zealanders and our labour market are more resilient than some have given us credit for,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Click here to see the Benefit Fact Sheets for the December 2021 Quarter.