Thousands more on benefits since lockdown started

Since the start of the Delta outbreak lockdown, 8500 more people have ended up on the benefit, Ministry of Social Development figures show.

While job losses have been nowhere near as severe as the first lockdown in March last year, many thousands of whānau are still struggling to make ends meet, as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

Before the first positive case was detected in August, Infometrics principal economist Brad Olsen said the labour market was running hot.

“Filled jobs were continuing to rise, more people across all industries were starting to get a little bit more work,” he said.

“We saw before lockdown as well, much improved unemployment rates, but also a much improved under-utilisation rate. More Kiwis were getting into jobs, and those Kiwis who wanted to work a bit more, a few more hours a week, for example, they were getting that work as well.” Read more

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.