15 Jul 2010

Job boost urged as dole queue lengthens

1:05 pm on 15 July 2010

Trade unions are urging the Government to do more to boost jobs as the number of unemployed continues to rise.

The number on unemployment benefit rose nearly 2000 last month to 62,085 - three times the number of two years ago.

The number of people on benefits rose 1.1% to 332,924 in June.

The figures follow other economic news revealing constrained household spending and subdued business confidence.

Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway says people are suffering because the Government hasn't done enough to stimulate the economy.

Mr Conway says before the recession began there were only 18,000 people receiving an unemployment benefit.

But Prime Minister John Key says while benefit numbers are up, the economy has been growing, and he says the Government has done plenty to help cushion people from the worst effects of the global recession.

'Long and bumpy road'

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett describes the recovery from the recession as a long and bumpy road.

She says while benefit numbers went up in June, there are still pockets of success.

For instance, she says the number of young Maori on the unemployment benefit in Auckland has dropped 21% since the beginning of the year.

While the number on the unemployment benefit rose overall, in Auckland and Wellington the number declined.