Fact Sheet: Ministry of Social Development – Headline Benefit Numbers at the end of March 2012

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Headline Benefit Numbers at the end of March 2012

At the end of March 2012, 323,000 working age1 people were receiving main benefits2. This compares with 266,000 in March 2007 and 332,000 in March 2011. The number of working age people receiving main benefits decreased by 10,000 (4 percent)3 in the 12 months ended March 2008, rose by 76,000 (30 percent) between 2008 and 2011, then decreased by 9,000 (3 percent) between 2011 and 2012.

Trends in the number of working age recipients of main social security benefits

(quarterly series, March 2007 – March 2012)

The actual numbers underlying this trend are provided in the table below.

Total numbers of working age recipients of main benefits

(quarterly series – March 2007 – March 2012)

March 2007

265,747

June 2007

261,009

September 2007

263,234

December 2007

269,732

March 2008

255,754

June 2008

258,317

September 2008

269,608

December 2008

286,176

March 2009

288,959

June 2009

310,296

September 2009

326,811

December 2009

345,476

March 2010

324,814

June 2010

332,924

September 2010

338,212

December 2010

352,707

March 2011

331,529

June 2011

327,817

September 2011

328,496

December 2011

350,932

March 2012

322,951

Movement Mar07 – Mar12

21.5%

Movement Mar11 – Mar12

-2.6%

The above table includes unemployed students receiving an Unemployment Benefit – Student Hardship. Excluding these clients gives the numbers shown in the table below.

Net Numbers:

Working age recipients of main benefits

excluding Unemployment Benefits – Student Hardship

March 2007

265,691

March 2011

331,131

March 2012

322,806

Movement Mar07 – Mar12

21.5%

Movement Mar11 – Mar12

-2.5%

1 This report defines “working age” clients as those aged 18-64 years. These ages are the normal age

boundaries for receipt of mainstream social security benefits and for the age of eligibility for New

Zealand Superannuation.

2 Comprises Unemployment Benefits, Unemployment Benefits – Hardship (includes Unemployment

Benefits – Student Hardship), Unemployment Benefits Training, Unemployment Benefits – Hardship

– Training, Independent Youth Benefits, Domestic Purposes Benefits – Sole Parent, Domestic

Purposes Benefits – Care of Sick or Infirm, Domestic Purposes Benefits – Women Alone, Sickness

Benefits, Sickness Benefits – Hardship, Emergency Maintenance Allowances, Invalid’s Benefits,

Widow’s Benefits and Emergency Benefits.

3 All changes given are calculated using the exact numbers presented on page 2 of this report.

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