Majority of New Zealanders seeking jobs rely on Jobseeker Support
An estimated 11.1% of the working age population in New Zealand has been found to be receiving a main benefit from the government, and of that, the majority are relying on Jobseeker Support, a weekly payment that helps people until they find work.
As of end-March, some 348,339 people were found to be receiving a main benefit, according to data from the Ministry of Social Development. A total of 177,642 people were receiving Jobseeker Support, and of these people, some 100,854, or 3.2% of the working population were “work ready”.
Jobseeker Support is available to people actively looking for or preparing for work, and includes those who are employed part-time, and those who cannot look for jobs at the moment due to health conditions, disability or injury.
Although the number of “work ready” people on Jobseeker Support fell from last year, there were still 29,668 more “work ready” people requiring support in March 2022 compared to in March 2019, pre-COVID-19, data showed.
The data aligns with New Zealand’s unemployment rate, which hit 3.2% in the December 2021 quarter.