Acting Social Development Minister Judith Collins says the number of people receiving a benefit dropped in October.
Ms Collins says the number of those on the unemployment benefit fell by 483 in October, and the overall number of those on benefits by 332.
She says some fluctuation in the numbers is expected because of the recession.
Ms Collins says that about 10,000 more people are on a benefit than at the same time last year but that there are jobs available, with more than 7000 beneficiaries finding work last month.
According to the October figures, the minister says, 337,880 people were on benefits, 64,798 of them on an unemployment benefit.