Claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance

NOTE

Future reporting of Jobseeker's Allowance data

As from October 2017, Business Intelligence at Lancashire County Council has not monitored Jobseeker's Allowance data on a monthly basis. This is owing to the roll out of the Universal Credit benefit system across the UK, which is gradually reducing the number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance. Future updates will be on a much reduced frequency. Readers may, however, find our monthly analyses of the Claimant Count and the Universal Credit dataset of interest. 

As from April 2015, the Claimant Count has included all claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), plus those Universal Credit claimants who are required to seek work and be available for work. The Claimant Count therefore now provides a more comprehensive dataset of those persons claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed. Please note that the Claimant Count does not measure official unemployment. Official unemployment has a wider definition and includes those economically active unemployed persons who meet the definition criteria, and who do not claim benefits, either through choice, or for reasons of non-eligibility. Official unemployment figures therefore tend to be somewhat higher than the Claimant Count.

Summary

Universal Credit (UC) is replacing a number of working age benefits, including Jobseeker's Allowance.

The number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has reduced substantially since the peaks recorded between 2009 and 2013 in the aftermath the 2008-09 UK recession. Early falls were owing to a pick up in the economy. The initial roll out of the Universal Credit live service from June 2014 in the North West, and February 2015 in the rest of the UK, has contributed to the reduction in the number of JSA claimants. The subsequent roll out to Universal Credit full service provision from November 2015 onwards appears to be accelerating the decrease in the number of JSA claimants in the first areas where UC full service provision has been implemented.

Between July 2017 and July 2018, the JSA Claimant Count proportion in the UK has fallen by 0.2 percentage points, from 1.2% to 1.0%, and the number of JSA claimants has decreased by 60,111 (12.5%) to 422,578 people.

The result of the first five Lancashire-14 areas transitioning to Universal Credit full service provision has been an accelerated reduction in the number JSA claimants and an accelerated rise in the number of persons claiming Universal Credit. The five areas are Lancaster, Burnley, West Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn. However, as at July 2018, Preston, South Ribble and Chorley appear to be deviating from this pattern as they have recorded increases to their JSA claimant totals since their respective transitions to UC full service provision in March and April 2018.

Within the Lancashire-12 area, three local authorities, Burnley (0.6 percentage points), West Lancashire (0.4 percentage points) and Hyndburn (0.3 percentage points) recorded yearly reductions to their JSA proportions that were greater than the UK fall of 0.2 percentage points. Blackburn with Darwen (0.5 percentage points), in the wider Lancashire-14 area, also recorded a decrease to its proportion that was greater than the UK fall. These four areas (plus Lancaster) were the earliest to transition to the UC full service provision in the Lancashire-14 area.

The proportion for Lancaster (0.3%) in July 2018 was the same as July 2017, although the number of claimants reduced by 77 (25.0%) over the year. Of note, is the fact that Lancaster was the first Lancashire-14 authority to become a Universal Credit full service area in July 2016, and the area saw a substantial reduction to its proportion of 0.6 percentage points between July 2016 and July 2017. The number of JSA claimants also fell by a considerable 63.7% (541 persons) between July 2016 and July 2017. By comparison, the number of JSA claimants in the UK fell by just 14.0% (78,635 persons) over this period and the UK proportion reduced by only 0.2 percentage points. The proportion of JSA claimants in Lancaster appears to have plateaued since July 2017, being 0.3% for 12 of the last 13 months.

The remaining eight Lancashire-12 authority areas and Blackpool (in the wider Lancashire-14 area) recorded increases to their respective JSA claimant proportions between July 2017 and July 2018, ranging between 0.5 percentage points in Blackpool (0.5 percentage points) to 0.1 percentage point rises in each of the Fylde, Wyre and Ribble Valley areas.

The Lancashire-12 area recorded a marginal yearly increase to its proportion of 0.1 percentage point, rising to 0.9%, with the number of JSA claimants increasing by 200 (3.3%) to 6,289 people. This is contrary to the UK proportion decrease of 0.2 percentage points.

The Lancashire-14 area proportion remained the same as a year earlier (1.0%), with number of JSA claimants increasing by 254 (2.8%) to 9,206 people.

Analysis of July 2018 Jobseeker's Allowance data

Data for July 2018 and change figures may be affected by differing speeds of the roll out of Universal Credit across the country. This should be borne in mind when analysing the figures.

In July 2018, claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) in the United Kingdom totalled 422,578 people and the proportion of working age residents aged 16 to 64 years claiming JSA was 1.0%. The proportion for men (1.2%) was higher than that for women (0.8%). Males accounted for 59.9% of claimant total.

The number of people claiming JSA within the Lancashire-12 area totalled 6,289 persons and the proportion of working age residents claiming JSA was 0.9%, which was lower than the UK average of 1.0%. Of the total number of JSA claimants, 3,836 were men and 2,453 were women. The proportion for men (1.0%) was higher than that for women (0.7%). These were lower than the respective proportions for men (1.2%) and women (0.8%) at the UK level. Males in the Lancashire-12 area accounted for 61.0% of the total.

JSA claimants in the Lancashire-14 area totalled 9,260 and the proportion was 1.0%, which was the same as the UK proportion. Of this total, 5,689 were men and 3,517 were women. The proportion for men (1.2%) was higher than that for women (0.8%). These were the same as the respective proportions for men and women at the UK level. Males in the Lancashire-14 area accounted for 61.8% of the total.

Within the Lancashire-12 area, Preston (1.5%), Pendle (1.3%) and Rossendale (1.3%) had proportions which were greater than the UK average of 1.0%. Chorley's proportion was the same as the UK figure. The remaining authorities within the Lancashire County Council 12-authority area had proportions which were lower than the UK average. Lancaster (0.3%) and West Lancashire (0.3%) had the lowest proportions in the area.

In the wider Lancashire-14 area, Blackpool's proportion (2.3%) was greater than the UK average (1.0%), whilst the proportion for Blackburn with Darwen (1.0%) was the same as the UK figure.

Figure 1: Proportions of working age residents aged 16 to 64 claiming Jobseeker's Allowance – July 2018

Source: Office for National Statistics via the National On-line Manpower Information System (Nomis).

Yearly change

Between July 2017 and July 2018, the UK proportion has fallen by 0.2 percentage points, from 1.2% to 1.0%, and the number of JSA claimants has fallen by 60,111 people (12.5%), to 422,578 people.

In contrast to the UK yearly decrease in JSA claimants of 12.5%, the number of claimants increased in both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas.

The Lancashire-12 area recorded a marginal yearly increase to its proportion of 0.1 percentage point, rising to 0.9%, with the number of JSA claimants increasing by 200 (3.3%) to 6,289 people. This is contrary to the UK proportion decrease of 0.2 percentage points.

The Lancashire-14 area proportion remained the same as a year earlier (1.0%), with numbers increasing by 254 (2.8%) to 9,206 claimants.

Within the Lancashire-12 area, three local authorities recorded yearly reductions to their proportions that were greater than the UK fall of 0.2 percentage points. Blackburn with Darwen, in the wider Lancashire-14 area, also recorded a decrease to its proportion that was greater than the UK fall.

Burnley (0.6 percentage points) recorded the greatest yearly reduction to its proportion in the Lancashire-14 area with the number of claimants falling by a substantial 50.2% 357 persons). Burnley became a Universal Credit full service area in May 2017, which means that persons can process their Universal Credit claims online. This is likely to explain, to a large degree, the considerable yearly fall in JSA claimants within Burnley.

Blackburn with Darwen (0.5 percentage points) recorded the second largest reduction to its proportion in the Lancashire-14 area over the year with claimant numbers falling by 30.3% (410 persons). West Lancashire (0.4 percentage points, 215 persons, 46.9%) and Hyndburn (0.3 percentage points, 178 persons, 32.5%) recorded the next largest yearly falls to their proportions. West Lancashire became Universal Credit full service area in December 2017, and Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn in February 2018. The impact on JSA claimant numbers and proportions in these areas is likely, to a large degree, to be a result of the transition to Universal Credit full service provision.

The proportion for Lancaster (0.3%) in July 2018 was the same as July 2017, although the number of claimants reduced by 77 (25.0%) over the year. Of note, is the fact that Lancaster was the first Lancashire-14 authority to become a Universal Credit full service area in July 2016, and the area saw a substantial reduction to its proportion of 0.6 percentage points between July 2016 and July 2017. The number of JSA claimants also fell by a considerable 63.7% (541 persons) between July 2016 and July 2017. By comparison, the number of JSA claimants in the UK fell by just 14.0% (78,635 persons) over this period and the UK proportion reduced by only 0.2 percentage points to 1.2% in July 2017. The proportion of JSA claimants in Lancaster appears to have plateaued since July 2017, being 0.3% for 12 of the last 13 months.

Total number of persons claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (July 2018) and monthly and yearly change

-

Total

Monthly change

Yearly change

Area

Number

Proportion %

in numbers

% change in numbers

in proportion

In numbers

% change in numbers

in proportion

Burnley

354

0.7

-12

-3.3

0.0

-357

-50.2

-0.6

Chorley

699

1.0

28

4.2

0.1

116

19.9

0.2

Fylde

361

0.8

-6

-1.6

0.0

40

12.5

0.1

Hyndburn

370

0.8

-36

-8.9

0.0

-178

-32.5

-0.3

Lancaster

231

0.3

-7

-2.9

0.0

-77

-25.0

0.0

Pendle

734

1.3

-7

-0.9

-0.1

164

28.8

0.3

Preston

1,425

1.5

30

2.2

0.0

306

27.3

0.3

Ribble Valley

145

0.4

-6

-4.0

0.0

40

38.1

0.1

Rossendale

578

1.3

13

2.3

0.0

179

44.9

0.4

South Ribble

608

0.9

32

5.6

0.0

126

26.1

0.2

West Lancashire

243

0.3

-12

-4.7

-0.1

-215

-46.9

-0.4

Wyre

541

0.9

0

0.0

0.0

56

11.5

0.1

Lancashire-12

6,289

0.9

17

0.3

0.0

200

3.3

0.1

Blackburn with Darwen

941

1.0

-93

-9.0

-0.1

-410

-30.3

-0.5

Blackpool

1,976

2.3

-60

-2.9

-0.1

464

30.7

0.5

Lancashire-14

9,206

1.0

-136

-1.5

0.0

254

2.8

0.0

North West

45,283

1.0

-1,207

-2.6

0.0

-2,412

-5.1

-0.1

England

338,038

1.0

-13,541

-3.9

0.0

-41,184

-10.9

-0.1

Great Britain

398,819

1.0

-15,745

-3.8

0.0

-53,534

-11.8

-0.1

United Kingdom

422,578

1.0

-16,451

-3.7

-0.1

-60,111

-12.5

-0.2

Source: Office for National Statistic via the National On-line Manpower Information System (Nomis).

The remaining eight Lancashire-12 authority areas and Blackpool (in the wider Lancashire-14 area) recorded increases to their respective JSA claimant proportions between July 2017 and July 2018. Blackpool (0.5 percentage points) recorded the largest increase, followed by Rossendale (0.4 percentage points) and then Preston and Pendle (both rising by 0.3 percentage points). South Ribble and Chorley each recorded yearly increases of 0.2 percentage points, whilst Fylde, Wyre and Ribble Valley each recorded an increase of 0.1 percentage point.

These eight Lancashire-12 authorities and Blackpool (in the wider Lancashire-14 area) also recorded yearly increases to the number of persons claiming JSA between July 2017 and July 2018. Blackpool (464 persons, 30.7%) saw the largest rise, followed by Preston, (306 persons, 27.3%), Rossendale (179 persons, 44.9%), Pendle (164 persons, 28.8%), South Ribble (126 persons, 26.1%), Chorley (116 persons, 19.9%), Wyre (56 persons, 11.5%), Ribble Valley (40 persons, 38.1%) and Fylde (40 persons, 12.5%).

Preston and South Ribble became UC full service areas in March 2018, and Chorley in April 2018. It is a little surprising to see that the number of JSA claimants has increased in these areas since their transition to UC full service areas. The first five areas in the Lancashire-14 area to transition to full service provision each saw immediate reductions to their JSA claimant totals in following months. 

Pendle, Rossendale and Ribble Valley became Universal Credit full service areas in July 2018 and it is likely that the number of JSA claimants will reduce in line with other authorities over the coming months. Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre will become Universal Credit full service areas in September 2018.

Numerically, Burnley (-357 persons, -50.2%) recorded the largest reduction in JSA Claimants over the previous year in the Lancashire-12 area, followed by West Lancashire (-215 persons, -46.9%), Hyndburn (-178 persons, -32.5%) and Lancaster (-77 persons, -25.0%). Blackburn with Darwen (-410 persons, -30.3%) recorded the largest yearly reduction in JSA Claimants in the Lancashire-14 area. These five areas were the earliest to transition to UC full service provision in the Lancashire-14 area.

The number of JSA claimants decreased by a greater percentage than the UK yearly reduction of 12.5% in the five Lancashire-14 authorities that recorded reductions in JSA claimants between July 2017 and July 2018. The percentage falls were 50.2% (357 persons) in Burnley, 46.9% in West Lancashire (215 persons), 32.5% in Hyndburn (178 persons). 30.3% in Blackburn with Darwen (410 persons) and 25.0% in Lancaster (77 persons). Again, these five areas were the earliest to transition to the UC full service provision in the Lancashire-14 area.

In the remaining nine Lancashire-14 authority areas, the number of JSA claimants increased, ranging from a rise of 11.5% in Wyre (56 persons), to 44.9% in Rossendale (179 persons).

Monthly change

Between June 2018 and July 2018, the number of persons claiming JSA in the UK fell by 16,451 people (3.7%) and the proportion fell marginally, from 1.1% to 1.0%.

The JSA claimant proportion for the Lancashire-12 area remained unchanged at 0.9% over the month, although the number of claimants increased slightly, by 17 persons (0.3%). The Lancashire-14 JSA claimant proportion also remained unchanged at 1.0% over the month, although claimant numbers decreased by 136 persons (1.5%).

The JSA claimant proportions fell in two of the Lancashire-12 authority areas (Pendle and West Lancashire) by 0.1 percentage point each, over the previous month. The proportions for Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool, in the wider Lancashire-14 area, also decreased by 0.1 percentage point each.

Contrary to the above four areas, the JSA claimant proportion for Chorley rose by 0.1 percentage point over the previous month. The proportions for remaining nine areas in the Lancashire-12 area were unchanged.

Seven of the Lancashire-12 authorities saw reductions to the number of JSA claimants over the previous month, ranging from 36 persons in Hyndburn, to 6 persons each in Ribble Valley and Fylde. Blackburn with Darwen (93 people) and Blackpool (60 people) recorded the largest monthly decreases in the number of JSA claimants in the wider Lancashire-14 areas over the last month. Of these nine areas, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, West Lancashire and Pendle each recorded a monthly reduction of 0.1 percentage point to their respective JSA claimant proportions.

JSA claimant numbers decreased by a greater percentage than the UK fall of 3.7% in the three Lancashire-12 authority areas of Hyndburn (8.9%, 36 persons), West Lancashire (4.7%, 12 persons) and Ribble Valley (4.0%, 6 persons), plus Blackburn with Darwen (9.0%, 93 persons) in the wider Lancashire-14 area.

Four of the Lancashire-12 areas saw upswings in the number of JSA claimants over the previous month. The increases were seen in South Ribble (5.6%, 32 persons), Chorley (4.2%, 28 persons), Rossendale (2.3%, 13 persons) and Preston (2.2%, 30 persons). Of these, only Chorley saw its proportion increase over the month, by 0.1 percentage point to 1.0%. The proportions for the remaining three of these areas were unchanged. Preston and South Ribble became Universal Credit full service areas in March 2018 and Chorley in April 2018, therefore, it is a little surprising to see increases in JSA claimant numbers in these areas.

The number of JSA claimants in Wyre (541) was unchanged over the previous month as was its proportion (0.9%).

Important notes in relation to the JSA data series and the roll out of Universal Credit

The number of JSA claimants is expected to reduce over the next few years owing to the roll out of Universal Credit and an increasing number of income-based JSA claimants being processed as Universal Credit claimants. Universal Credit live service was the initial level of provision rolled out in the North West in mid-2014, and across the rest of the UK in February 2015. Please note that Universal Credit will not replace contribution-based JSA claimants. Caution should be applied when interpreting the JSA data as totals are likely to have changed in part as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit, rather than claimants finding employment or moving off JSA for other reasons.  

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began the transition onto Universal Credit full service provision for all types of claimant types in the London Boroughs of Croydon and Southwark in November 2015, and across the rest of the UK, beyond London, in May 2016. Universal Credit full service means that persons can process their claims online, rather than via the phone.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Lancaster became a Universal Credit full service area in July 2016, followed by Burnley in May 2017 and West Lancashire in December 2017. Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn became full service areas in February 2018 and Preston and South Ribble in March 2018. Chorley became a full service area in April 2018. Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale all became Universal Credit full service areas in July 2018. Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre are scheduled to become Universal Credit full service areas in September 2018.

The result of Lancaster becoming a Universal Credit full service area has been an accelerated reduction in JSA claimants (especially in the first year after transition) and an accelerated rise in persons claiming Universal Credit. Burnley, West Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn appear to be following this pattern.  

After the Universal Credit full service rollout has been completed, the DWP will then begin moving all remaining existing benefit claimants onto the Universal Credit full service. This is currently expected to be completed by March 2022. Further information on the Universal Credit full service can be found via this Gov.uk web link. The Universal Credit full service rollout schedule is available via this web link.   

True assessment of Universal Credit statistics, or individual welfare benefits, is further complicated by the imposition of sanctions, where benefit payments can be withdrawn from claimants for varying periods of time (lasting for up to three years) for non-compliance with Claimant Commitments. At the present time, the total number of people who are subject to sanctions for a single point in time is not able to be provided by the Department for Work and Pensions at the local district level.

Please see the PDF report below (Claimants of Job Seeker's Allowance, July 2018) for further analysis, including graphs from January 2007 and tables showing the change in JSA claimant numbers from various UC full service transition dates.

Further analysis 

Claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance, July 2018 (PDF 1,696 KB) 

Page updated September 2018