. . . Figures released by the Ministry of Social Development on Friday indicated that the number of people claiming the unemployment benefit at the Oamaru Work and Income service centre fell from 172 at the end of December, to 146 at the end of March.
The number claiming the domestic purposes benefit also fell, from 349 at the end of last year, to 338 at the end of last month. Southern regional social development commissioner John Allen said some former Summit employees were still out of work following the closure of the plant in February, but many had already found new work in the area.
”The local labour market is reasonably buoyant and we’re seeing former Summit employees find work in a range of industries including meat processing and manufacturing jobs. Seasonal employers are continuing to recruit, again in meat processing, or have just finished hiring for the upcoming season. There are also a number of vacancies for skilled trade workers.
”Most of the employers we work with appear to be positive about the labour market, especially the engineering, construction and agriculture sectors, although this can vary across industries and seasonal factors can impact on benefit numbers.” . . .
A drop int he number of unemployed is a sign of economic recovery.
It could also reflect a change in emphasis with benefit reforms. Those who could work are being treated as job seekers and getting more help to find jobs.
That’s better for them, their families, society and the economy.