Friday, July 20, 2018

Benefit numbers up for first time since 2010

The first June to June increase in benefit numbers since 2010 has been recorded. This sits alongside Carmel Sepuloni's change to the benefit sanctions rules - essentially a softening. Sanctions are down by over 20 percent. The two developments may be related.

The specific benefit numbers that have increased are Jobseeker.

This is concerning when employers are crying put for unskilled workers. We know that MSD are worried about slowing exits from the Jobseeker benefit. They recently commented, "Demand for low skilled labour in the regions is not being readily absorbed by jobseekers in those regions." More than once emergency rules have been invoked to allow migrants to pick up the slack.

More Jobseeker benefits are being granted and fewer cancelled.

Further analysis required.


The data tables show the increased Jobseeker numbers are accounted for overwhelmingly by 25-39 year-olds.

Maori on Jobseeker have increased by 12% since 2015. They are now the single largest ethnic group receiving this benefit.

Psychological and psychiatric conditions among Jobseekers have increased almost 16% since 2015. This is a standout statistic among health conditions.

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