Appendix B: Chronology of payments to the unemployed

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The number of recipients of unemployment and related benefits as at June each year since 1943 is shown in the table below. The growth in the recipient numbers up to the mid 1990s largely reflected both economic conditions and an increase in the categories of people eligible to receive benefits. The significant increase in 1994 and 1995 was a result of the inclusion of partnered parents. From then numbers gradually declined until 2009, largely reflecting economic conditions and the closure of several non-activity-tested payments. The proportion of recipients receiving unemployment benefits has increased over recent years as other payments have been closed to new entrants.

Numbers of recipients of payments for the unemployed, the sick and those in special circumstances, from 1943

At 30 June

Unemployment benefits(a)

Sickness benefits(b)

Special benefits

Other special circumstances benefits(c)

Total

1943

-

-

-

22 188

22 188

1944

-

-

-

26 113

26 113

1945

-

-

-

28 880

28 880

1946

6 873

6 920

196

28 890

42 879

1947

6 208

9 483

456

26 053

42 200

1948

1 838

9 940

949

25 299

38 026

1949

1 151

12 000

5 059

25 371

43 581

1950

1 226

12 941

5 244

25 148

44 559

1951

604

7 044

921

24 254

32 823

1952

8 060

6 378

1 148

27 395

42 981

1953

25 914

8 135

1 985

23 064

59 098

1954

6 083

7 802

1 852

22 642

38 379

1955

2 679

7 905

2 045

22 878

35 507

1956

7 003

7 244

1 947

23 436

39 630

1957

18 071

6 845

1 971

24 768

51 655

1958

29 418

8 001

2 149

25 958

65 526

1959

27 528

8 473

2 264

27 410

65 675

1960

16 541

8 569

2 258

28 682

56 050

1961

54 254

8 536

2 356

30 945

96 091

1962

46 324

10 270

2 391

32 252

91 237

1963

38 188

10 876

2 468

33 216

84 748

1964

18 129

10 776

2 577

34 753

66 235

1965

12 656

10 187

2 423

35 685

60 951

1966

19 482

10 004

2 310

36 810

68 606

1967

24 002

9 949

2 136

38 364

74 451

1968

21 275

9 370

2 665

39 170

72 480

1969

15 910

8 185

4 187

39 859

68 141

1970

13 043

8 813

3 804

42 857

68 517

1971

19 411

10 516

4 185

43 253

77 365

1972

38 647

13 382

4 163

42 973

99 165

1973

37 317

18 520

4 312

47 845

107 994

1974

30 837

21 862

5 099

51 226

109 024

1975

157 948

24 544

5 330

54 274

242 096

1976

183 338

30 533

7 300

58 482

279 653

1977

243 884

32 065

8 757

63 426

348 132

1978

282 174

34 548

11 779

67 564

396 065

1979

312 924

33 340

13 744

72 064

432 072

1980

310 004

40 191

21 121

75 040

446 356

1981

330 834

48 875

19 500

77 824

477 033

1982

535 499

50 350

16 659

79 291

681 799

1983

619 882

62 668

20 525

80 345

783 420

1984

581 720

62 501

18 141

81 869

744 231

1985

559 237

62 030

18 582

81 637

721 486

1986

568 716

64 136

18 136

81 443

732 431

1987

553 653

70 232

19 706

82 244

725 835

1988

478 049

75 189

22 592

86 802

662 632

1989

389 794

79 001

25 204

83 642

493 999

1990

419 785

79 195

27 913

78 947

526 893

1991

676 705

71 399

29 811

74 439

852 354

1992

851 831

44 172

34 792

69 408

1 000 203

1993

913 770

46 579

28 854

64 716

1 053 919

1994

878 278

47 132

25 947

335 255

1 286 612

1995

822 571

47 311

20 884

334 573

1 225 339

1996

846 556

33 215

18 727

189 434

1 087 932

1997

829 903

15 759

14 577

167 281

1 027 520

1998

809 554

16 285

10 236

172 267

1 008 342

1999

713 387

11 181

11 808

167 562

903 938

2000

634 863

10 043

10 971

170 499

826 376

2001

625 546

11 058

12 712

172 258

821 574

2002

645 160

9 540

13 091

188 910

856 701

2003

599 818

8 755

12 228

190 139

810 940

2004

567 758

8 478

11 216

171 125

758 577

2005

533 187

8 367

9 408

137 725

688 687

2006

513 943

7 573

6 841

116 768

645 125

2007

486 491

7 624

6 244

92 148

592 507

2008

464 308

7 437

6 003

79 149

556 897

2009

603 101

6 968

5 809

66 249

682 127

2010

642 352

6 703

6 307

58 724

714 086

2011

613 452

6 705

6 385

47 284

673 826

(a) From 1992 Job Search Allowance and Newstart Allowance, from 1995 Job Search Allowance, Newstart Allowance and Youth Training Allowance, from 1997 Newstart Allowance, from 1999 Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other than full-time students).
(b) From 1992 Sickness Allowance.
(c) From 1942 Widow B Pension, from 1942 to 1989 Widow C Pension, from 1989 to 1994 Widowed Person's Allowance, from 1995 to 2005 Bereavement Allowance, from 1995 Widow Allowance, from 1994 Partner Allowance, from 1994 to 2008 Mature Age Allowance and from 1994 to 1995 Mature Age Partner Allowance.

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