The head of the Ministry of Social Development has told MPs he believes there will be a significant reduction in people on the unemployment benefit next year.
Chief executive Peter Hughes appeared before Parliament's Social Services Select Committee on Wednesday morning for the Ministry's financial review.
Mr Hughes said programmes initiated by the Government, such as 'Job Ops' and 'Community Max' have reduced the number of people going on the dole - particularly young people.
No figures were provided, but Mr Hughes but said next month's unemployment figures will reflect that.
He said there will be a seasonal increase in benefit figures soon due to students moving onto the dole.
But Mr Hughes said that benefit levels will reduce next year for three reasons: the economy is starting to improve, MSD has improved the way it's working with people and Government programmes are making a difference.