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, April 2018 (revised)

In April 2018, the total number of persons on Universal Credit in Great Britain was 872,494 (revised). Of these, 555,789 persons (63.7%) were 'Not in employment' and 316,703 people (36.3%) were 'In employment'. The total was up by 54,832 (6.7%) on the previous month and up by 362,661 persons (71.1%) over the previous year.

The total number of persons on Universal Credit in the Lancashire-14 area was 30,972 in April 2018. Of these, 19,526 persons (63.0%) were 'Not in employment' and the remaining 11,438 people (36.9%) were 'In employment'. The total was up by 1,330 (4.5%) on the previous month and up by 8,288 (36.5%) over the previous year.

For the Lancashire-12 area, a total of 23,826 persons were on Universal Credit. Of these, 14,841 persons (62.3%) were 'Not in employment' and 8,972 people (37.7%) were 'In employment'. The total was up by 793 persons (3.4%) on the previous month and up by 7,027 (41.8%) over the previous year.

Lancaster had the largest total number of persons on Universal Credit (6,946) within the Lancashire-14 area in April 2018 (revised), followed by Burnley (4,723), Blackpool (3,858), Blackburn with Darwen (3,288), West Lancashire (2,407) and Preston (1,959). Ribble Valley (286) had the lowest number of persons on Universal Credit in the area.

The GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit as a percentage of persons aged 16 to 64 years was 2.2% in April 2018. Rates for the Lancashire-14 area (3.4%) and Lancashire-12 area (3.2%) were greater than the GB rate.

Six of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were above the GB average. Burnley (8.8%), Lancaster (7.7%), Blackpool (4.5%) and Hyndburn (3.9%) had the highest rates.

Eight of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were below the GB average, ranging from 2.1% in both Preston and Rossendale to 0.8% in Ribble Valley.

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 5,660 persons, 440.1%). 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, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn in February 2018, Preston and South Ribble in March 2018 and Chorley in April 2018.

The total number of persons on Universal Credit in Burnley has increased by 3,026 people (178.3%) since May 2017, from 1,697 persons to 4,723 persons, more than doubling. The next greatest percentage rise in total numbers in the Lancashire-14 area was in West Lancashire (60.5%, 907 persons), followed by Lancaster (51.1%, 2,348 persons) since May 2017 (GB = 68.0%). 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, Hyndburn, Preston, South Ribble and Chorley 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

Five of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly increases to the total number of people on Universal Credit. Totals rose the most in Blackburn with Darwen (627 persons, 23.6%), followed by Burnley (313 persons, 7.1%), Hyndburn (295 persons, 18.1%), West Lancashire (223 persons, 10.2%) and Lancaster (209 persons, 3.1%). These five areas are Universal Credit full service areas.

Nine 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 (-90 persons, -2.3%), South Ribble (-49 people, -5.2%), Pendle (-42 persons, -3.9%) and Preston (-36 people, -1.8%) over the month.

Blackburn with Darwen (23.6%), Hyndburn (18.1%), West Lancashire (10.5%) and Burnley (10.2%) recorded the largest monthly percentage increases in the total number of persons on Universal Credit in the Lancashire-14 area, whilst South Ribble (-5.2%, -49 persons), Ribble Valley (-5.0%, -15 people) and Fylde (-4.4%, -29 people) and saw the greatest percentage decreases.

The GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rose by 0.2 percentage points over the month to 2.2%. The Lancashire-14 rate also increased by 0.2 percentage points to 3.4%. The rate for the Lancashire-12 area rose by 0.1 percentage point over the month t0 3.2%.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, five areas recorded increases to their total Universal Credit rates over the month. The rates for Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Burnley each rose by 0.6 percentage points to April 2018. West Lancashire's rate increased by 0.4 percentage points, whilst the rate for Lancaster rose by 0.1 percentage point.

Six of the Lancashire-14 areas saw reductions to their total Universal Credit rates over the month, each falling by 0.1 percentage point. Rates for the remaining three Lancahire-14 areas were unchanged over the previous month.

Yearly change

Ten of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded yearly increases to the total number of persons on Universal Credit. Burnley's total rose by the greatest extent (3,023, 177.8%) in the Lancashire-14 area, increasing from 1,700 people to 4,723 persons, more than doubling. The total for Lancaster saw the next largest yearly increase (2,617 persons, 60.5%), rising from 4,329 persons to 6,946 persons. Blackburn with Darwen (1,066, 48.0%), West Lancashire (887 people, 58.4%), Hyndburn (564 persons, 41.5%) and Blackpool (195 persons, 5.3%) were next in the rankings for yearly increases. Burnley's increase accounted for 36.5% of the Lancashire-14 total rise (8,288 people), whilst Lancaster's rise accounted for a further 31.6% (68.1% for the two areas combined). Rossendale (27 people, 3.1%) saw the smallest yearly increase.

Of the four Lancashire-14 areas that saw reductions in the total number of persons on Universal Credit over the year, South Ribble (-105 persons, -10.5%) recorded the largest fall, followed by Wyre (-58 persons, -5.2%), Fylde (-36 persons, -5.4%) and Pendle (-6 persons, -0.6%).

The GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rose by 0.9 percentage points over the year, from 1.3% to 2.2%.

Owing to the earlier roll out of Universal Credit in the North West, local rates will have tended to be greater in April 2017 in most instances. The Lancashire-14 area saw the rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit also rise by 0.9 percentage points, to 3.4% over the year. Again, the Lancashire-12 area recorded a yearly rate increase of 0.9 percentage points, but rising to 3.2%.

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 5.6 percentage points, to 8.8% in April 2018. Lancaster (+2.9 percentage points), West Lancashire (+1.3 percentage points), Blackburn with Darwen (+1.1 percentage points) and Hyndburn (+1.1 percentage points) also saw their rates rise by more than the GB yearly increase of 0.9 percentage points. All of these are areas where Universal Credit full service has been rolled out.

South Ribble (-0.2 percentage points), Wyre (-0.1 percentage point) and Fylde were the three Lancashire-14 authority areas to record slight reductions to their rates over the year. 

Table 1: Total number of persons on Universal Credit and rates (% of persons aged 16 to 64), April 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 555,789 in April 2018 (63.7% of the total). The figure was up by 36,642 (7.1%) on the previous month and up by 237,457 persons (74.6%) over the previous year.

The Lancashire-14 number of persons within the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category was 19,526 persons in April 2018 (63.0% of the total). This figure was up by 888 (4.8%) on the previous month and up by 5,071 persons (35.1%) over the previous year.

For the Lancashire-12 area, the number of persons within the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category was 14,841 persons in April 2018 (62.3% of the total). This figure was up by 542 (3.8%) on the previous month and up by 4,282 persons (40.6%) over the previous year.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Lancaster (4,163), Burnley (3,059), Blackpool (2,445) and Blackburn with Darwen (2,240) 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 1.4% in April 2018. Rates for the Lancashire-14 area (2.1%) and the Lancashire-12 area (2.0%) were greater than the GB rate.

Six of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were above the GB average for this category, with Burnley (5.7%), Lancaster (4.6%) and Blackpool (2.8%) having the highest rates in the area.

Monthly change

Five of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly increases to the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit numbers. The largest of these was seen in Blackburn with Darwen (485 persons, 27.6%), followed by Hyndburn (184 persons, 16.8%), West Lancashire (178 persons, 12.6%), Burnley (133 persons, 4.5%) and Lancaster (120 persons, 3.0%). Three of these recorded monthly percentage increases that were greater than the GB rise (7.1%).

Nine of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw reductions to their 'Not in employment' Universal Credit numbers over the month. Numbers fell the most in Blackpool (139 persons, 5.4%), followed by Wyre (25 persons, 3.9%) and Fylde (22 people, 4.0%).

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 1.4%. The Lancashire-14 and Lancashire-12 rates for this category also rose by 0.1 percentage point each, rising to 2.1% and 2.0%, respectively.

Five of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly rate rises for the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category. The rate for Blackburn with Darwen increased the most, by 0.5 percentage points, to 2.4%, followed by Hyndburn (+0.4 percentage points), West Lancashire (+0.3 percentage points), Burnley (+0.2 percentage points) and Lancaster (0.1 percentage point).

Of the Lancashire-14 authorities, only Blackpool recorded a monthly rate reduction for the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category, decreasing by 0.2 percentage points. The rates for the remaining eight 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. Burnley (1,919 persons, 168.3%) saw numbers rise by the greatest extent for this category in the Lancashire-14 area, more than doubling over the year from 1,140 people to 3,059 persons. Lancaster (1,598 persons, 62.3%) saw the second largest increase, rising from 2,565 people to 4,163 persons. Blackburn with Darwen (782 people, 53.6%), West Lancashire (662 persons, 71.5%) and Hyndburn (345 people, 37.0%) saw the next largest increases.

Five of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw reductions to the number of persons in the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category over the year. Wyre (-118 people, -16.3%) recorded the biggest yearly fall, followed by South Ribble (-93 persons, -14.8%), Fylde (-42 people, -10.2%), Preston (-15 persons, -1.2%) and Pendle (-5 people, -0.8%).

The 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category accounted for 61.2% (5,071 persons) of the total yearly increase in persons on Universal Credit (8,288 people) in the Lancashire-14 area (GB = 65.5%).

The GB rate for the number of persons in the 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rose by 0.6 percentage points over the year, from 0.8% to 1.4%. Similarly, the Lancashire-12 area also saw the rate for this category rise by 0.6 percentage points over the year, to 2.0%. The Lancashire-14 area recorded a marginally lower yearly rate rise of 0.5 percentage points, but increasing to 2.1%.

Five 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 3.6 percentage points, to 5.7%. Lancaster (1.7 percentage points), West Lancashire (1.0 percentage point), Blackburn with Darwen (0.8 percentage points) and Hyndburn (0.7 percentage points) also saw their rates rise by more than the GB yearly average (0.6 percentage points).

Three of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw their 'Not in employment' Universal Credit category rates fall over the year. The rate for Wyre decreased by 0.2 percentage points, whilst the rates for South Ribble and Fylde each reduced by 0.1 percentage point.

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 316,703 in April 2018 (36.3% of the total). The figure was up by 18,189 (6.1%) on the previous month and up by 125,202 persons (65.4%) over the previous year.

The Lancashire-14 number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 11,438 persons in April 2018 (36.9% of the total). This figure had risen by 445 persons (4.0%) over the previous month and by 3,212 persons (39.0%) over the previous year.

For the Lancashire-12 area, the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 8,972 persons in April 2018 (37.7% of the total). This figure had increased by 248 people (2.8%) on the previous month and had risen by 2,738 persons (43.9%) over the previous year.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Lancaster (2,781), Burnley (1,664), Blackpool (1,418), Blackburn with Darwen (1,048), West Lancashire (812) and Preston (724) had the largest number of persons in this category, whilst Ribble Valley (141 persons) had the lowest.

The GB rate for persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category was 0.8% in April 2018. The rates for the Lancashire-14 area (1.3%) and Lancashire-12 area (1.2%) were above the GB rate.

Six of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were greater than the GB average (0.8%) with Lancaster (3.1%), Burnley (3.1%) and Blackpool (1.6%) having the highest rates in the area for this category. Preston had the same rate as GB for this category (0.8%).  

Seven of the Lancashire-14 authorities had rates that were lower than the GB average (0.8%) with South Ribble (0.5%) and Ribble Valley (0.4%) having the lowest rates for this category in the Lancashire-14 area.  

Monthly change

The number of persons within the GB 'In employment' Universal Credit category had increased by 18,189 (6.1%) on the previous month, rising to 316,703 persons in April 2018.

Between March 2018 and April 2018, six of the Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly increases to their 'In employment' Universal Credit category totals. Burnley (184 people, 12.4%), Blackburn with Darwen (144 people, 15.9%) and Hyndburn (114 people, 21.5%) recorded the largest monthly increases, followed by Lancaster (85 people, 3.2%), Blackpool (53 people, 3.9%) and West Lancashire (40 people, 5.2%). The percentage increases for three of these areas were greater than the GB monthly rise of 6.1%.

Eight of the Lancashire-14 authorities saw reductions to the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category over the month. Preston (-39 persons, -5.1%) recorded the largest monthly fall, followed by Pendle (- 36 persons, -8.5%) and Chorley (-25 people, -5.5%).

The GB rate for the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category rose over the month by 0.1 percentage point to 0.8%. The rate for the Lancashire-14 area also increased by 0.1 percentage point, to 1.3%. For the Lancashire-12 area the rate was unchanged over the month remaining at 1.2%.

Five Lancashire-14 authorities recorded monthly rate rises for the 'In employment' Universal Credit category. The rate for Burnley increased by the largest extent, rising by 0.3 percentage points to 3.1%. Hyndburn's rate rose by 0.2 percentage point, to 1.3%. The rates for Blackburn with Darwen, Lancaster and West Lancashire each rose by 0.1 percentage point.

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

Yearly change

The GB 'In employment' Universal Credit category rose by 125,202 persons (65.4%) over the previous year to 316,703 in April 2018.

Twelve 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 Burnley (+1,106 persons, +198.2%), almost tripling, increasing from 558 people to 1,664 persons. The second largest rise was in Lancaster (+1,013 persons, +57.3%). Blackburn with Darwen (280 persons, 36.5%) recorded the third highest increase, whilst Fylde (7 persons, 2.7%) saw the lowest yearly rise in numbers.

South Ribble (-6 people, -1.6%) and Pendle (-3 persons, -0.8%) were the two Lancashire-14 authority areas to record slight reductions in the number of people within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category over the year.

The GB rate for the number of persons within the 'In employment' Universal Credit category rose by 0.3 percentage points, to 0.8% 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 1.3%. The Lancashire-12 area also recorded an increase of 0.4 percentage points, rising to 1.2%.

Nine 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 2.1 percentage points, to 3.1%. Lancaster (+1.1 percentage points), Hyndburn (+0.4 percentage points) and West Lancashire (+0.4 percentage points) also saw their rates rise by more than the GB average (0.3 percentage points). Blackburn with Darwen (0.3 percentage points) saw its rate rise by the same extent as the GB average over the previous year.

The rates for South Ribble, Pendle, Fylde, Rossendale and Chorley were the same in April 2018 as they were in April 2017 for the 'In employment' Universal Credit category.

Data and background information

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

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

Page updated 21 June 2018