All Main Benefits - December 2019 quarter

During the COVID-19 pandemic response, we are releasing a reduced amount of supporting material for the Benefit Fact Sheets and this page has not been updated with information from the latest quarter.

All Main Benefits include Jobseeker Support (JS), Sole Parent Support (SPS), Supported Living Payment (SLP), and other main benefits.

Five-year trend

There were 314,408 working-age people in receipt of a main benefit as at the end of December 2019, an increase of 1.7 percent compared with December 2014.

All mb

The proportion of the working-age population receiving a Main Benefit, decreased from 11.2 percent as at the end of December 2014 to 10.5 percent as at the end of December 2019 (down by 0.8 percentage points).

Population proportion all mb

Annual comparison

As at the end of December 2019, the number of people receiving a Main Benefit was five percent higher, when compared to December 2018. The increase in numbers was mostly driven by a ten percent increase in the number of people receiving Jobseeker Support.

December 2018

December 2019

Annual change

Number of working-age people receiving a Main benefit

299,345 314,408 5.0 percent increase

Number of Jobseeker Support recipients

134,048 147,464 10.0 percent increase

Number of Supported Living Payment recipients

92,687 93,594 1.0 percent increase

Number of Sole Parent Support recipients

59,870 61,190 2.2 percent increase

Number of recipients of other main benefits

12,740 12,160 4.6 percent decrease

Percentage of working-age population receiving a Main Benefit

10.1 10.5 0.4 percentage point increase

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: Other main benefits include Youth Payment/Young Parent Payment (YP/YPP), Emergency Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Emergency Benefit (EB), Jobseeker Support Student Hardship (JSSH), Widow’s Benefit (WB), Widow’s Benefit Overseas (WBO), and Sole Parent Support Overseas (SPSO).

Note 3: As at the end of December 2019, there were 1,611 working-age people in receipt of YP/YPP, a decrease of 4.1 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, there were 1,436 YP/YPP recipients aged 16 to 17 years, as at the end of December 2019. 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 parents’ partners participating in the youth services.

Note 4: Percentage of working-age population is based on Statistics New Zealand’s national population estimate year ended as at June for the relevant years (i.e. the population estimates as at June 2019 have been used for this quarter’s report).

Note 5: Annual changes are calculated from the exact values and presented to the nearest one decimal point.

Note 6: Percentage of the working-age population and percentage of the working-age benefit population are shown as rounded figures, while the change between them is calculated from the exact values. The difference given may not correspond exactly with the difference between the percentages shown.