The Government’s swift action to secure our economic recovery in the midst of a pandemic has seen 47 per cent of jobs in New Zealand protected by at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies, says Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni.
The Ministry of Social Development’s new report on who received the Wage Subsidy last year shows that it was of critical importance in helping the NZ economic recovery from Covid-19.
“Our Government has worked hard to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and people’s jobs and livelihoods. This new report shows that the wage subsidies served to protect jobs and support businesses that might otherwise have been lost,” says Sepuloni.
“While we have seen the number of people receiving a Main Benefit rise due to COVID-19, interventions like the wage subsidies and Government investment have meant the numbers are well below what was forecast,”
Overall, 47 per cent of New Zealand jobs - excluding sole traders - received at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies.
In 2020, 69 per cent of employed men and 54 per cent of women were supported by a wage subsidy. This fell to 54 per cent and 41 per cent respectively in 2021. 45 per cent of all unique jobs held by Māori (excluding sole traders) were supported by at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies. This is a similar rate to jobs held by NZ Europeans (45 per cent) and Pacific People (43 per cent).
“In general, patterns of 2021 wage subsidy distribution were similar to those in 2020 with jobs in some industries being more likely to need wage subsidies or multiple wage subsidies, especially the accommodation and food, and arts and recreation industries,"says Sepuloni.
“That’s why Government continued to respond as demand arose, for example, with additional support for the arts and culture sector, large-scale events and a reactivation package for Auckland. These also sat in conjunction with other support available such as the Covid-19 Income Relief Payment, Leave Support Scheme, Short-term Absence Payment and the extensions to the Wage Subsidy.
“We know that businesses right across the motu are what makes Aotearoa New Zealand tick. The wage subsidies have been an important tool in our toolbox in supporting them, and protecting people in nearly half of our jobs,” says Sepuloni.
The report Who received the 2021 Covid-19 wage subsidies looks at how the 2021 Covid-19 wage subsidies were distributed across the population and compares the results with previous research on who took up the 2020 wage subsidies.