9 July, 2012
Benefit numbers rise slightly in June
Benefit numbers rose slightly in June, but fewer people are receiving a benefit now, than this time two years ago says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
Overall benefit numbers rose by 0.8 per cent in June to 320,041, an increase of 2,644 people. This is the lowest June main benefit number since 2009.
There are now 27,066 fewer people on all benefits since benefit numbers peaked in January 2010.
‘’In the four months to June, benefit numbers decreased month-on-month, but we’ve seen a slight rise in the latest report which is expected during winter with fewer seasonal jobs,’’ Mrs Bennett says.
‘’Despite making good progress in getting more people into jobs this year, there’s still more work to do and that is why welfare reform is vital.”
“The changes we’re introducing will target people at risk of long-term benefit dependency and will also prepare people for work,’’ says Mrs Bennett.
The number of people on an Unemployment Benefit rose by 0.8 per cent (403) in June to 49,622 – the lowest June unemployment numbers since 2008.
Today there are 18,747 fewer people on the Unemployment Benefit compared to January 2010.
Last month 5,904 people went off all benefits and into work.
‘’This is a good result. Having almost 6,000 New Zealanders go off benefit and into jobs is really encouraging and the Government will continue to support and back people into work,’’ Mrs Bennett said.
Note to Ed: when welfare changes come into effect this year, reporting on benefit numbers will change to reflect the new categories and reporting timeframes.