John.

All main benefits - March 2018 quarter

Five-year trend

There were 273,387 working-age people in receipt of a main benefit as at 31 March 2018 (Figure 1). This is the lowest number since March 2008 (255,754 people).

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

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

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 March quarter fell from 11.5 percent in 2013 to 9.3 percent in 2018 (Figure 2).

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

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

Annual comparison

31-Mar-17

31-Mar-18

Annual change

Number of working-age people receiving a main benefit

278,236 273,387 1.7 percent decrease

Number of Jobseeker Support recipients

119,405 118,755 0.5 percent decrease

Number of Supported Living Payment recipients

93,107 92,473 0.7 percent decrease

Number of Sole Parent Support recipients

62,212 58,830 5.4 percent decrease

Number of Youth Payment/Young Parent Payment recipients

1,393 1,585 13.8 percent increase

Number of recipients of other main benefits

2,119 1,744 17.7 percent decrease

Percentage of working-age population receiving a main benefit

9.6% 9.3% 0.4 percentage point decrease

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 1,495 YP/YPP recipients aged 16 to 17 years at the end of March 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 (eg estimates as at the end of June 2017 have been used for the March 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.