The number of long term unemployed Australians has doubled since the global financial crisis, with more than half a million Australians receiving Newstart Allowance for more than a year.
According to Department of Social Services figures, the number of long-term Newstart recipients increased 11.7 per cent from 2013 to 2014.
People receiving Newstart Allowance have to be aged over 22 and looking for suitable paid work.
The number of Newstart Recipients is now the highest on record, with 746,294 receiving the payment and actively looking for work.
This figure increased by 4.9 per cent from the previous year.
Unemployment is at its highest rate since 2003, despite the figure falling from 6.2 to 6.1 per cent from October to December last year.
Speaking to Fairfax, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said changes to Newstart meant people with disabilities had been moved onto the payment.
“While it is encouraging that employment has increased over the last year, most of the growth has occurred over the last three moments, so it is too early for it to have had a positive impact on the number of long-term unemployment benefit recipients,” he said.