14 August, 2012
Small rise in July benefit figures
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says that benefit figures remain below recent levels despite a small rise in the number of people on benefits over the past month.
Benefit numbers rose by 0.1 per cent (433) over July to 320,474. The lowest total benefit figure for July since 2009.
“The total number of people on benefits has risen slightly as seasonal employment continues to slow during July,” says Mrs Bennett.
“While benefit figures are well below the highs of previous years we still have work to do and welfare reform will play an important role helping people prepare for jobs,” she says.
There were 50,379 people on an Unemployment Benefit at the end of July up 1.5 per cent on the previous month but down 11.8 per cent on July last year.
People continued to find jobs last month with 6,225 leaving benefits for work.
“It’s pleasing to see that despite a flat labour market people are consistently moving off benefits and into work each month,” says Mrs Bennett.