The Service and Food Workers Union says the Government must come up with a plan to deal with the thousands of Christchurch people whom it says will soon join the dole queue.
Government support is helping provide income for nearly 70,000 people, but that is due to finish at the end of May.
The union says many jobs will be lost at huge social cost and the Government needs a plan focused on job retention and creation.
The union says the new Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is focused on infrastructure, costs and business support.
Prime Minister John Key says he has not seen any projections on the number of people who might go on to the unemployment benefit following the quake.
Mr Key says the challenge for the Government is how to keep as many people employed as it practically can, rather than sit around navel gazing about how many people might go on a benefit.
He some people who lose their jobs will find work in other industries, or move out of Christchurch to look for work elsewhere.