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All main benefits - September 2018 quarter

All main benefits are income and asset tested benefits. These include Jobseeker Support (JS), Sole Parent Support (SPS), Supported Living Payment (SLP) and other main benefits.

Five-year trend

The number of working-age people in receipt of a main benefit has been on a general decreasing trend since the September 2013 quarter.

As at 30 September 2018, the number of people on a main benefit was 284,315. This is 2.6 percent higher compared to the September 2017 quarter and 6.6 percent lower than the September 2013 quarter.

The slight increase in the September 2018 quarter was due to a 7.4 percent increase in the number of people receiving Jobseeker Support.

Figure 1: Quarterly main benefit numbers, September 2013 to September 2018

Quarterly main benefit numbers

Note 1: Working-age people are aged 18 to 64 years. This definition reflects the minimum age of eligibility for most main benefits and the age of qualification for New Zealand Superannuation.

Note 2: Jobseeker Support (JS), Supported Living Payment (SLP), and Sole Parent Support (SPS).

Note 3: Other includes Youth Payment (YP), Young Parent Payment (YPP), Emergency Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Emergency Benefit (EB), Jobseeker Support Student Hardship (JSSH), Widow’s Benefit Overseas (WBO), and Sole Parent Support Overseas (SPSO).

The proportion of the working-age population receiving a main benefit at the end of the September quarter has shown a downward trend since September 2013 but flattened out at 9.4 percent from September 2017 to 2018 (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Proportion of working-age population receiving main benefits, September 2013 to September 2018

proportion-of-working-age-main-benefit-numbers

Annual comparison

30-Sep-17

30-Sep-18

Annual change

Number of working-age people receiving a main benefit

277,220 284,315 2.6 percent increase

Number of Jobseeker Support recipients

120,726 129,643 7.4 percent increase

Number of Supported Living Payment recipients

92,847 92,413 0.5 percent decrease

Number of Sole Parent Support recipients

59,502 58,620 1.5 percent decrease

Number of Youth Payment/Young Parent Payment recipients

1,878 1,709 9.0 percent decrease

Number of recipients of other main benefits

2,267 1,930 14.9 percent decrease

Percentage of working-age population receiving a main benefit

9.4% 9.4% 0.0 percentage points

Note 1: Working-age people are aged 18 to 64 years. This definition reflects the minimum age of eligibility for most main benefits and the age of qualification for New Zealand Superannuation.

Note 2: YP/YPP recipients shown are 18+ years. There were 1,503 YP/YPP recipients aged 16 to 17 years at the end of September 2018. From 25 October 2016, the Youth Service was extended to include 19 year-old teen parents (YPP), and changes were introduced for young partners and young parent partners participating in the youth services.

Note 3: Other main benefits include EMA, EB, JSSH, WBO, and SPSO.

Note 4: Percentage of working-age population is based on Statistics NZ National Population Estimate year ended June for relevant years. Estimates as at the end of June are updated in the following August, so estimates for the end of June 2018 have been used for the September 2018 quarter.

Note 5: Percentages of the working-age population and percentages of the working-age benefit population are given as rounded figures, while the change between them is calculated from the exact values. The difference given may therefore not correspond exactly with the difference between the percentages shown.