NZ had 23,158 people on the unemployment benefit at September 2007. The official unemployment rate is 3.5 percent.
Australia's unemployment rate is 4.3 percent. In August they had 505,927 people on the unemployment benefit.
Australia's population is 5 times NZ's yet it has nearly 22 x the number of people on the dole.
The difference cannot be accounted for in incapacity benefits as NZ's rate of reliance is similar (if a little less) than the Aussies.
In Australia, from July 2006 new welfare-applicant single parents whose youngest child was 8 or more were directed to the unemployment benefit. This may be part of the anomaly, but certainly not all.
I wonder how many Kiwis are over there on the dole? (Those who were there before the 2000/01 rule change or have been there the two years required since the rule change?)
Back then the Aussie government said it was paying over a billion dollars to Kiwis on welfare benefits. By my reckoning that would be anywhere from 50-75,000 people.
If they were on the dole in NZ that would make the ratio about right.
9 minutes ago