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Minister Carmel Sepuloni for Social Development and Employment says the COVID-19 response has allowed for people to move off the Benefit in record numbers.
During the March Quarter, 32,880 people moved back into work within the first three months of 2021. Sepuloni says investments made have lowered unemployment rates.
“More people moved into work last quarter than any time since the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) began keeping electronic records in 1996,” said Sepuloni.
“The investment the Government has made during our response to COVID-19 is working and has led to lower than predicted unemployment. The longer people remain on a benefit, the more difficult it becomes for them to re-enter the Labour Market, so early interventions are vital.”
According to the Wage Subsidy, which kept people in work, the additional $150m package introduced allowed for an increase in MSD’s employment and financial services for support as part of the COVID-19 Recovery.
Additional funding for the Flexi-Wage allowed for investments into employment outcomes that improve industry interventions, such as the Apprenticeship Boost.
“The quarterly statistics show that more people are moving off Benefit than coming on. The number of people now receiving a Main Benefit is 365,937, a fall of 23,563 from the December Quarter,” said Sepuloni.
“Signs are encouraging with 10,670 more people moving off benefit than the same period in 2019. The statistics for the next quarter will provide us with complete insight, but indications are positive. This positivity is reflected in the latest jobs online data which shows vacancies increased 73.7 percent compared to a year earlier.”
“Vacancies are up across all industries with most growth being seen in healthcare, manufacturing, construction and hospitality.”
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