Benefit figures drop

Friday 7 September 2012, 6:00PM
By Paula Bennett

The number of people on benefits has fallen in the last month says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“It’s good to see the number of people on all benefits has declined by more than a thousand in August, including a drop in Unemployment Benefits, but we still have a lot of work to do,” says Mrs Bennett.

There are now 319,327 people on a benefit in New Zealand, with 50,283 on Unemployment Benefits.

Over the last twelve months the Unemployment Benefit has decreased by more than 5,600, and young people constitute 10 per cent of that drop.

“There are now just over 13,000 young people on benefits, which is 10,000 fewer than there were at the peak in January 2010,” says Mrs Bennett.

The number of people on benefits in Canterbury has fallen by 18 per cent since the February 2011 earthquake. A considerably larger drop than the national decrease of 7.2 per cent over the same period.

“There are almost 2,000 fewer Cantabrians on Unemployment Benefits through opportunities provided by the rebuild and Work and Income staff finding jobs for locals,” says Mrs Bennett.

Across New Zealand, people continue to cancel benefits to move into work.

“In the last month we saw more than 6,500 people go off benefit into work and 2,000 of those were young people.”