Few new people went on Jobseeker Support last week compared to previous weeks; The number has still increased by 30% or 43,426 people from two months ago

Few new people went on Jobseeker Support last week compared to previous weeks; The number has still increased by 30% or 43,426 people from two months ago
Image sourced from pxhere.

The number of people on Jobseeker Support has increased by 30%, or 43,426 people, in the two months to May 15.

However the rate at which people are going on Jobseeker Support has slowed in recent weeks, according to the latest Ministry of Social Development data.

A net 1,606 people went on Jobseeker Support in the week to May 15, bringing the total up to 188,432, which is 6.3% of the working-age population.

The net number of new people to go on Jobseeker Support in a week peaked at 9,470 in the week to April 3.

A report released by the Ministry last week indicated this spike did to a small degree stem from kiwis returning to New Zealand as borders closed.

Large regional discrepancies

Northland was the region that saw the largest increase in the portion of the working-age population receiving Jobseeker Support between January 3 and May 15.

The portion increased by 2.0 percentage points during this time to 10.2%.

The Tasman region followed Northland, with a 1.8 percentage point increase to 6.3%.

Otago (which includes Queenstown) saw the smallest increase of only 0.9 percentage points to 3.6%.

The wage subsidy scheme, which has paid out $10.9 billion, has undoubtedly cushioned the increase in Jobseeker Support recipients. 

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Jenée, given that us PAYE slaves and company taxes (hah!) are Paying for all of those Benefits, would it be feasible to show projected annual $ costs alongside the numbers of bodies involved? Gives more of a financial perspective to the data.

EDIT: a back-of-envelope calculation" 188432 (as per the table) *$25K (assumed annual benefit) =$4.71 billion.....

Sure, it's slowed.
But carnage is coming. I'm telling you now, this is going to be really ugly, economically and socially.
I blame the government to a certain extent. Mainly because they have failed to get momentum in the economy in housing and infrastructure, throughout 2018-2019, which should have now been climbing towards a peak, and could have taken some of the pain from the private sector.
Most of the so-called 'shovel ready' projects are going to be months and months away from being truly 'shovel ready'...
I'm still not writing off a National Party victory. The tide could turn quickly once unemployment gets really ugly in the next 2-3 months.

Wile E Coyote running mid air. When wage subsidy ends he looks down, looks up, gives a little wave and byebye.

Jenee......... Do not rely on the MSD figures to get the full extent of unemployment , instead ask IRD for the PAYE filing figures ( excluding Provisional TAX payments ) for April and May 2020 and compare them to 2019 same period .

This way , you will be able to gauge how much the workforce has contracted

Tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs do not qualify for Welfare support because they have spousal income of savings , and are therefore not counted .

Jenee... ignore all the people who start their comments with your name. They're being condescending and imagine themselves superior.

Compared to the unemployment explosion in the US which is around 20% now, compared to our increase from 4% to about 5%, we are getting through this remarkably well. Wiping out the virus combined with the employment subsidy seems to have preserved the vast majority of our economy. Looks like a master class to me. It's really nice to have a government that actually utilises experts.