Home » 47% of NZ jobs supported by 2021 wage subsidy – govt report – RNZ

47% of NZ jobs supported by 2021 wage subsidy – govt report – RNZ

by Arifa Rana

Nearly half of New Zealand’s jobs were supported by last year’s wage subsidies, which have helped keep unemployment low, the government says.
File photo. Photo: 123rf
Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said 47 percent of jobs were protected by at least one of the 2021 wage subsidies.
MSD’s new report Who received the 2021 COVID-19 wage subsidies showed the subsidies were of critical importance in helping the economy recover from Covid-19, Sepuloni said in a statement.
“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,” Sepuloni said.
“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.”
The report showed 47 percent of jobs, excluding sole traders, received at least one of the 2021 subsidies.
In 2020, 69 percent of employed men and 54 percent of women were supported by a wage subsidy. This fell to 54 percent and 41 percent respectively in 2021.
Forty five percent of unique jobs held by Māori and New Zealand Europeans and 43 percent held by Pacific people were supported by the subsidises.
“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,” Sepuloni said.
The government provided additional support to the arts and culture sector, for large-scale events and for Auckland, in response to demand, Sepuloni said.
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It would mean a payment of $2200 a week for the self-employed contractors, which is nearly four times as much as the original $600 Covid Wage Subsidy.
An Auckland-based theatre company says the performing arts industry is on the brink without access to a wage subsidy or resurgence payments.
Cafes and restaurants on the brink of collapse because of Covid-19 restrictions are being promised some relief by the government but still don’t know what that will be.
Events announced prior to 23 January this year are eligible for the extended government support announced this morning.
The government is boosting support for the arts sector following the shift to the red traffic light setting. Audio
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