Will we continue with approaches to social problems that
fail or will we choose those that work? asks Laura Black.
Dole rules look set to get stricter with the Government
signalling a crackdown on fraud and considering a shorter
reapplication period for the benefit.
The labour market
continues to steadily improve, judging from figures released
yesterday. But an industry group is warning that cheap
imports are costing local jobs.
Canterbury has bucked the national jobless figures trend, the
region showing a spike in the number of people on the
unemployment benefit while nationally numbers are down.
300,000 welfare beneficiaries who are judged to be capable of
work will face a day of reckoning tomorrow when the
Government receives a report that recommends they be forced
to look for jobs.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.8% in the December quarter
from 6.4% in the three months to September, as the number of
people in work fell and the number unemployed rose.
Surging unemployment has given Government critics a chance to
vent their anger at employment policies they say are failing
out-of-work New Zealanders and are damaging the economy.
Southern social agencies can expect strong and consistent
demand as the recession's enduring hangover focuses on the
low-skilled unemployed, Methodist Mission chief executive
Laura Black says.
Unemployment benefit numbers dropped by almost 500 for the
month of April, the Government said today.
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