Benefit figures released by the Social Development Ministry show that the number of people joining the dole queue last month was almost triple what it was in 2008.
In September last year slightly more than 23,000 people were getting the unemployment benefit. Twelve months on, the number has jumped to almost 61,000.
But Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of those needing assistance in September slowed considerably compared with previous months.
Figures released Monday show that just over 1500 more people joined the dole queue in September, compared with August.
Ms Bennett says the slowing of demand for the benefit could be attributed to renewed employer confidence and the beginning of some seasonal work.