Universal Credit

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) publish experimental monthly Universal Credit statistics by local authority boundary.

The experimental designation is in place owing to the Universal Credit system still being rolled out across the country. Caution should therefore be applied when analysing and interpreting the data. The bulk of the transition to Universal Credit is currently estimated to be completed by 2022.

As from the April 2017 data release, the provisional Universal Credit figures have no longer been analysed by Business Intelligence. However, these, and the revised data in this analysis, can be sourced from the DWP's Stat-Xplore online data selection tool.  

Note: revised denominators (22 March 2018)

Please note that mid-year population estimates for the years 2012 to 2016 were revised by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the 22 March 2018. The revised data can be sourced here. The revised Lancashire-14 mid-year population estimates for 2016 can be viewed here.

The denominators (persons aged 16 to 64) used to calculate the rates within the analysis below have been updated with revised figures. Some of the rates for Lancaster, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde, Hyndburn and the Lancashire-12 area have changed marginally as a result of the revisions. Some of the monthly and yearly change in rates have also been affected marginally for these areas.

Key findings for the Lancashire-14 area

Universal Credit total persons and rates, February 2018 (revised)

In February 2018, the total number of persons on Universal Credit in Great Britain was 778,370 (revised). Of these, 491,282 persons (63.1%) were 'Not in employment' and 287,093 people (36.9%) were 'In employment'. The total was up by 46,647 (6.4%) on the previous month and up by 313,545 persons (67.5%) over the previous year.

The total number of persons on Universal Credit in the Lancashire-14 area was 28,798 in February 2018. Of these, 18,188 persons (63.2%) were 'Not in employment' and the remaining 10,595 people (36.8%) were 'In employment'. The total was up by 582 (2.1%) on the previous month and up by 7,671 (36.3%) over the previous year.

For the Lancashire-12 area, a total of 22,376 persons were on Universal Credit. Of these, 13,904 persons (62.1%) were 'Not in employment' and 8,464 people (37.8%) were 'In employment'. The total was up by 646 persons (3.0%) on the previous month and up by 6,810 (43.7%) over the previous year.

Lancaster had the largest total number of persons on Universal Credit (6,513) within the Lancashire-14 area in February 2018 (revised), followed by Burnley (4,178), Blackpool (4,019), Blackburn with Darwen (2,403) and Preston (2,041).

The GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit as a percentage of persons aged 16 to 64 years was 1.9% in February 2018. Rates for the Lancashire-14 area (3.2%) and Lancashire-12 area (3.0%) were greater than the GB rate.

Nine of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were above the GB average. Burnley (7.8%), Lancaster (7.2%), Blackpool (4.7%) and Hyndburn (3.0%) had the highest rates. Wyre (1.8%), Chorley (1.6%), Fylde (1.5%), South Ribble (1.4%) and Ribble Valley (0.8%) had rates below the GB figure.

Universal Credit full service provision rollout

Lancaster became a Universal Credit full service area in July 2016. This means that persons can process claims online, rather than via the phone. More complex claims are also processed. The result has been an acceleration in the number of persons claiming Universal Credit in Lancaster, which has increased more than fivefold since July 2016 (up by 5,234 persons, 409.2%). Lancaster also had a number of substantial upward revisions over the summer months of 2016. A further impact in Lancaster has been the accelerated reduction in claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) since July 2016. Other benefits that are being replaced by Universal Credit may also be similarly affected.

Burnley became a Universal Credit full service area in May 2017, West Lancashire in December 2017 and Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn in February 2018. The total number of persons on Universal Credit in Burnley has increased by 2,479 people (145.9%) since May 2017, from 1,699 persons to 4,178 persons, more than doubling. The next greatest percentage rise in total numbers in the Lancashire-14 area was in Lancaster (41.6%, 1,913 persons) since May 2017 (GB = 49.8%). A similar impact on Universal Credit numbers to that experienced in Lancaster and Burnley is expected to be seen in West Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn over the coming months.

The Universal Credit full service rollout schedule for each of the Lancashire-14 authorities is provided below in the background information document (section 1.3).

 

Monthly Change

Only three of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly increases to the total number of people on Universal Credit. Totals rose the most in West Lancashire (288 persons, 17.3%), followed by Lancaster (277 persons, 4.4%) and Burnley (271 persons, 6.9%).

Ten of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded reductions to the total number of people on Universal Credit over the month. Totals fell by the largest amounts in Blackpool (-56 persons, -1.4%), Wyre (-33 people, -2.9%) and South Ribble (-30 people, -3.0%) over the month.

The total number of people on Universal Credit in Ribble Valley was unchanged over the month.

West Lancashire (17.3%) and Burnley (6.9%) recorded the largest monthly percentage increases in the total number of persons on Universal Credit in the Lancashire-14 area, whilst Fylde (-3.6%, -25 people) and South Ribble (-3.0%, -30 persons) saw the greatest percentage decreases.

The GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rose by 0.1 percentage point over the month to 1.9%. The Lancashire-14 rate also increased by 0.1 percentage point to 3.2% over the month, whilst the Lancashire-12 rate was unchanged at 3.0%.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, three areas recorded increases to their total Universal Credit rates over the month. Burnley's rate rose the most, increasing by 0.5 percentage points to 7.8% in February 2018. The rate for West Lancashire increased by 0.4 percentage points to 2.8%. The rate for Lancaster increased by 0.3 percentage points to 7.2%.

Three of the Lancashire-14 areas saw reductions to their total Universal Credit rates over the month. South Ribble’s rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 1.4%. Fylde’s rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 1.5%, and Rossendale’s rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 2.1%. Rates for the remaining eight Lancahire-14 areas were unchanged over the previous month.

Yearly change

All of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded yearly increases to the total number of persons on Universal Credit. Lancaster's total rose by the greatest extent (3,045, 87.8%) in the Lancashire-14 area, increasing from 3,468 people to 6,513 persons. The total for Burnley saw the next largest yearly increase (2,557 persons, 157.7%), more than doubling from 1,621 persons to 4,178 persons. Blackpool (578 persons, 16.8%), West Lancashire (496 people, 34.0%) and Blackburn with Darwen (283, 13.3%) were next in the rankings for yearly increases. Lancaster's increase accounted for 39.7% of the Lancashire-14 total rise (7,671 people), whilst Burnley's rise accounted for a further 33.3% (73.0% for the two areas combined). South Ribble (24 people, 2.5%) saw the smallest yearly increase.

The GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rose by 0.7 percentage points over the year, from 1.2% to 1.9%.

Owing to the earlier roll out of Universal Credit in the North West, local rates will have tended to be greater in February 2017 in most instances. The Lancashire-14 area saw the rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rise by 0.9 percentage points, to 3.2% over the year. The Lancashire-12 area also recorded a yearly rate increase of 0.9 percentage points, but rising to 3.0%.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Burnley recorded the largest yearly rise in the rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit, increasing by 4.8 percentage points, to 7.8% in February 2018. Lancaster (+3.3 percentage points) also saw its rate rise above the GB yearly increase of 0.7 percentage points.

 

Table 1: Total number of persons on Universal Credit and rates (% of persons aged 16 to 64), February 2018 (revised), and monthly and yearly changes.  

Table 2: 'Not in employment' Universal Credit figures.  

Table 3: 'In employment' Universal Credit figures.

 

Note: Rates are for persons aged 16 to 64, calculated by Business Intelligence, Lancashire County Council, using 2016 Mid-year population estimates (as revised on 22 March 2018). Numbers for the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas have been calculated by summing the relevant local authority figures. This month the Lancashire-12 data was not available via the DWP Stat-Xplore web site.   

Source: DWP via Stat-Xplore, People on Universal Credit and Office for National Statistics - 2016 Mid-year population estimates (22 March 2018 revisions).

New interactive table functionality - click on the column headings to rank the data in that column. Click on the ID column heading to reset the table. Scroll across for more columns. Scroll up and down if required. Click on the diagonal double-ended arrow at the bottom right of the above table to enter full screen mode. Click the arrows next to the '1 to 3' label at the bottom of the table to move through tables 1, 2 and 3. 

'Not in employment' Universal Credit category

The number of persons within the GB 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category was 491,282 in February 2018 (63.1% of the total). The figure was up by 37,600 (8.3%) on the previous month and up by 204,065 persons (71.0%) over the previous year.

The Lancashire-14 number of persons within the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category was 18,188 persons in February 2018 (63.2% of the total). This figure was up by 571 (3.2%) on the previous month and up by 4,456 persons (32.4%) over the previous year.

For the Lancashire-12 area, the number of persons within the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category was 13,904 persons in February 2018 (62.1% of the total). This figure was up by 546 (4.1%) on the previous month and up by 4,004 persons (40.4%) over the previous year.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Lancaster (3,999), Burnley (2,790), Blackpool (2,720) and Blackburn with Darwen (1,564) had the greatest number of persons in this category.

The GB rate for the number of persons in the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category was 1.2% in February 2018. Rates for the Lancashire-14 area (2.0%) and the Lancashire-12 area (1.9%) were greater than the GB rate.

Eight of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were above the GB average for this category, with Burnley (5.2%), Lancaster (4.5%) and Blackpool (3.2%) having the highest rates in the area.

Monthly change

Eleven of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly increases to the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit numbers. The largest of these were seen in West Lancashire (204 persons, 20.5%), Lancaster (180 persons, 4.7%) and Burnley (174 persons, 6.7%). Only West Lancashire recorded monthly percentage increase in the Lancashire-14 area that was greater than the GB rise (8.3%).

Three of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw reductions to their 'Not in employment' Universal Credit numbers over the month. The number in Wyre fell by 34 people (4.7%). The number in Fylde reduced by 22 people (5.4%), whilst Chorley saw a slight drop of 3 persons (0.5%). 

The GB rate for the number of persons in the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category increased by 0.1 percentage point over the month to 1.2%. The rate for the Lancashire-14 area also increased by 0.1 percentage point, to 2.0%, over the month, as did the rate for the Lancashire-12 area, which rose to 1.9% for this category.

Four of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly rate rises for the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category. The rate for Burnley increased by 0.3 percentage points, to 5.2%. West Lancashire's rate also rose by 0.3 percentage points, to 1.7%. The rate for Lancaster rose by 0.1 percentage point to 4.5%, whilst the rate for Blackpool increased by 0.1 percentage point to 3.2% for this category.

Wyre was the only Lancashire-14 authority to record a monthly reduction to its rate for the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category, falling by 0.1 percentage point to 1.1%. The rates for the remaining nine Lancashire-14 authorities were unchanged over the month for this category.

Yearly change

Nine of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded increases to the number of persons within the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category over the year. Lancaster (1,848 persons, 85.9%) saw numbers rise by the greatest extent for this category in the Lancashire-14 area, increasing from 2,151 people to 3,999 persons. Burnley (1,732 persons, 163.7%) saw the second largest increase, more than doubling over the year from 1,058 people to 2,790 persons. West Lancashire (313 persons, 35.2%), Blackpool (281 persons, 11.5%) and Blackburn with Darwen (171 people, 12.3%) saw the next largest increases. Chorley (10 people, 1.5%) saw the lowest yearly increase. The number in Ribble Valley for this category was the same in February 2018 as it was in February 2017.

Four of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw reductions to the number of persons in the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category over the year. Wyre (-27 people, -3.8%) recorded the biggest yearly fall, followed by South Ribble (- 25 persons, -4.3%), Fylde (-10 people, -2.5%) and Pendle (-8 persons, -1.2%).

The 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category accounted for 58.1% (4,456 persons) of the total yearly increase in persons on Universal Credit (7,671 people) in the Lancashire-14 area (GB = 67.2%).

The GB rate for the number of persons in the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rose by 0.5 percentage points over the year, from 0.7% to 1.2%. The Lancashire-14 area also recorded a yearly rate rise of 0.5 percentage points, increasing to 2.0%. The Lancashire-12 area saw the rate for the number of persons within the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rise by a marginally greater 0.6 percentage points over the year, to 1.9%.

Seven of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw their 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rates rise over the year. Burnley recorded the largest yearly rate rise for this category in the Lancashire-14 area, increasing by 3.2 percentage points, to 5.2%. Lancaster (2.1 percentage points) also saw its rate rise by more than the GB yearly average (0.5 percentage points).

South Ribble was the only Lancashire-14 area to record a fall to its 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rate over the year, dropping marginally, by 0.1 percentage point to 0.8%.

Six of the Lancashire-14 areas saw no change to their 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rates over the year.

'In employment' Universal Credit category

The number of persons within the GB 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 287,093 in February 2018 (36.9% of the total). The figure was up by 9,052 (3.3%) on the previous month and up by 109,485 persons (61.6%) over the previous year.

The Lancashire-14 number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 10,595 persons in February 2018 (36.8% of the total). This figure had risen by 15 persons (0.1%) over the previous month and by 3,191 persons (43.1%) over the previous year.

For the Lancashire-12 area, the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 8,464 persons in February 2018 (37.8% of the total). This figure had increased by 110 people (1.3%) on the previous month and had risen by 2,791 persons (49.2%) over the previous year.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Lancaster (2,515), Burnley (1,386), Blackpool (1,295), Blackburn with Darwen (836) and Preston (799) had the largest number of persons in this category, whilst Ribble Valley (143 persons) had the lowest.

The GB rate for persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 0.7% in February 2018. The rates for the Lancashire-14 area (1.2%) and Lancashire-12 area (1.2%) were above the GB rate.

Nine of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were greater than the GB average (0.7%) with Lancaster (2.8%), Burnley (2.6%) and Blackpool (1.5%) having the highest rates in the area for this category. South Ribble (0.6%), Fylde (0.6%) and Ribble Valley (0.4%) had rates below the GB figure. Wyre and Chorley had the same rate as GB for this category.   

Monthly change

The number of persons within the GB 'In employment' Universal Credit category had increased by 9,052 (3.2%) on the previous month, rising to 287,093 persons in February 2018.

Between January 2018 and February 2018, only three of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly increases to their 'In employment' Universal Credit category totals. These were in Lancaster (96 people, 4.0%), Burnley (94 people, 7.3%) and West Lancashire (84 persons, 12.6%). These percentage increases were all greater than the GB percentage rise of 3.2%

Nine of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw reductions to the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category over the year. Blackpool (-72 people, -5.3%) recorded the largest yearly fall, followed by South Ribble (- 38 persons, -8.3%), Hyndburn (-34 people, -6.6%) and Preston (-29 persons, -3.5%).

The number of people within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category were unchanged over the previous month in Wyre and Fylde.

The GB rate for the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was unchanged over the month at 0.7%. The rate for the Lancashire-14 area was also unchanged for this category, at 1.2%. However, the 'In employment' Universal Credit rate for the Lancashire-12 area rose by 0.1 percentage point to 1.2%.

Three Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly rate rises for the 'In employment' Universal Credit category. The rate for Burnley increased by 0.2 percentage points, to 2.6%. Lancaster's rate rose by 0.1 percentage point, to 2.8%. West Lancashire's rate also rose by 0.1 percentage point to 1.1%.

Four of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly falls in their rates for the 'In employment' Universal Credit category. Blackpool, South Ribble, Hyndburn and Fylde each saw a reduction to their respective rates of 0.1 percentage point. The rates for the remaining seven Lancashire-14 authorities were unchanged over the month.

Yearly change

The GB 'In employment' Universal Credit category rose by 109,485 persons (61.6%) over the previous year to 287,093 in February 2018.

All of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw an increase to the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category over the year. The total rose by the greatest amount in Lancaster (1,192 persons, 90.1%), increasing from 1,323 people to 2,515 persons. The number in Burnley (+825 persons, +147.1%), the next largest rise, more than doubled. Blackpool (291 persons, 29.0%) recorded the third highest increase, whilst Ribble Valley (36 persons, 33.6%) saw the lowest rise in numbers.

The GB rate for the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category rose by 0.3 percentage points, to 0.7% over the year.

The Lancashire-14 area saw the rate for the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category rise by 0.4 percentage points over the year, to 1.2%. The Lancashire-12 area also recorded an increase of 0.4 percentage points, rising to 1.2%.

Twelve of the Lancashire-14 areas recorded increases to their 'In employment' Universal Credit category rates over the year. Locally, Burnley recorded the largest yearly rise in the rate for this category, increasing by 1.6 percentage points, to 2.6%. Lancaster (1.3 percentage points) also saw its rate rise above the GB average (0.3 percentage points). Blackpool (0.3 percentage points) and West Lancashire (0.3 percentage points) saw rate rises that were the same as the GB average over the previous year.

The rates for South Ribble and Fylde were the same in February 2018 as they were in February 2017 for the 'In employment' Universal Credit category.

Data and background information

People on Universal Credit, February 2018 data (revised), plus monthly and yearly changes (XLSX 26 KB)

Persons on Universal Credit, background information PDF document (PDF 898 KB)

Page updated 24 April 2018