The Beehive building

Benefit System Update - October 2021 to June 2022


This report is the third to be published in the Benefit System Update (BSU) series, which explores key trends in the economy, labour market, and benefit system, including the impact of COVID-19.

The first BSU described the initial impact of COVID-19, up to August 2020.

The second BSU described trends in the benefit system through to September 2021. This report also explored how well our priority groups (youth, sole parents, women, Māori, Pacific Peoples, as well as people with health conditions and disabled people) have fared.

This BSU builds on earlier reports and explores key trends in the benefit system between October 2021 and June 2022.

Key findings

This report finds that:

  • Main benefit numbers have continued to decrease and have fallen faster than following the Global Financial Crisis.
  • Record numbers of work exits reflect MSD’s sustained focus on supporting people into work, the tight labour market, and the overall performance of the economy.
  • Changes in main benefit numbers have continued to be driven by changes in Jobseeker Support.
  • Outcomes for many of MSD’s priority groups have continued to improve.