900 more on dole in Canterbury since quake

12:53 pm on 26 May 2011

The Government says fewer Canterbury people than expected have gone onto the employment benefit since February's earthquake.

Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett says 6000 people are receiving the benefit in Canterbury, a rise of 900 since the 22 February earthquake.

Ms Bennett says there was an expectation unemployment would rise dramatically in Canterbury but so far it hasn't.

She says the Government has looked to see whether many people have been unable to go on to a benefit because they are ineligible, but that hasn't been the case.

Neighbouring regions have not experienced any great increase in unemployment either.

Ms Bennett says Government support for firms and their employees has so far exceeded $200 million.

She says the number of firms receiving support has steadily decreased as they've got back up and running.