Benefit figures steady in January

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Hon Paula Bennett Minister for Social Development Minister of Youth Affairs 3 February 2012 Media Statement Hon Paula Bennett Minister for Social Development Minister of Youth Affairs 3 February 2012 Media Statement

Benefit figures steady in January

The number of people on benefits in New Zealand remained relatively steady over the last month says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“Normally you would see a huge spike in benefits over January, but all benefits rose by just 100 to 351,032 in the last month,” says Ms Bennett.

This is the smallest December to January increase since 2008.

“In the last month more than 2,000 Maori went off welfare into work and more than 2,000 young people did the same,” says Ms Bennett.

There were 62,122 people on Unemployment Benefits in January 2012.

While that is up from 59,964 on the previous month, there were also more than 4,000 people who went off this benefit into work in January.

“Predictions that Unemployment Benefits would rise to about 100,000 post-recession have never eventuated, but clearly we still have a way to go.”

Every month thousands of new vacancies come into Work and Income.

Note to Ed: when welfare changes come into effect later this year, reporting on benefit numbers will change to reflect the new categories. This will be clearly signalled in advance.

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