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 as the Universal Credit system still being rolled out. 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 September 2024.

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.  

Please note that the mid-year population estimates for persons aged 16 to 64 have been updated and now use the 2020 estimates from January 2020 onwards. These estimates are used to calculate the proportions of working age people on Universal Credit in each area.  In addition, the mid-year population estimates from January to April in each year from 2015 to 2019 have been changed and now use the respective mid-year population estimates for the whole of each calendar year.  For example, the 2016 mid-year population estimates are now used for all months from January to December in 2016.  The estimates were updated by Lancashire County Council Business Intelligence with the May 2021 revised Universal Credit data, published on the Lancashire Insight web site in August 2021. Some of the proportions published previously may have changed marginally as a result of the changes and update.   

Summary for September 2021 (revised data)

Between August 2021 and September 2021, decreases to the Universal Credit (UC) totals were recorded in the Lancashire-14 area and Great Britain. These were the only the sixth reductions to the Universal Credit totals in these areas since the Universal Credit system was implemented nationally in 2015 and happened for the sixth consecutive month. The fall in the Universal Credit total for the Lancashire-12 area was only the seventh such decrease.

The fall in UC total numbers in these three areas occurred because the reductions to the 'Not in employment' UC category were greater than the increases to the 'In employment' UC category. This probably reflects an improvement in the demand for labour as businesses continue to open-up from lockdown.

The revised number of people on Universal Credit decreased by 0.9% (down 968 people) in the Lancashire-12 area between August and September 2021. The UC total in the Lancashire-14 area fell by 1.0% (down 1,423 people). The Great Britain total decreased by greater 1.2% (down 66,942 people). The UC total in the North West fell by 1.0% (down 7,664 people).

Thirteen of the Lancashire-14 local authority areas also saw decreases to the total number of people on Universal Credit between August and September 2021. Blackpool (down 338 people, -1.5%) saw the largest fall over the month followed by Lancaster (down 157 people, -1.2%), West Lancashire (down 134 people, -1.5%), Wyre (down 126 people, -1.5%), Blackburn with Darwen (down 117 people, -0.6%), Fylde (down 116 people, -2.2%) and Burnley (down 108 people, -0.8%). Chorley (down 26 people, -0.3%) recorded the smallest reduction in the area.

Only one of the Lancashire-14 local authority areas recorded an increase to its Universal Credit total between August and September 2021. The total for Pendle rose by 20 persons (0.2%) over the month. 

In September 2021, the total number of people on Universal Credit (UC) in the Lancashire-12 area (L-12) was 106,557 persons or 14.3% of persons aged 16-64 (GB = 14.1%, 5,732,796 people). L-12 numbers fell by 968 persons (-0.9%) between August 2021 and September 2021. The L-12 UC total proportion fell by 0.1 percentage point over the month, to 14.3% (the GB proportion decreased by 0.2 percentage points, but to 14.1%).

For the Lancashire-14 area (L-14), the Universal Credit total was 147,398 persons (16.0% of persons aged 16-64) in September 2021. L-14 total numbers fell by 1,423 persons (-1.0%) over the month. The L-14 UC total proportion also fell by 0.1 percentage point over the month, to 16.0%.

Blackpool (26.1%) had the highest UC total proportion in GB (out of 363 local authorities). Burnley (23.6%) had the joint second highest. Blackburn with Darwen (20.2%) and Hyndburn (19.5%) were ranked within the top 22 and 27 positions (in the highest 8%). Pendle (17.6%) and Preston (16.7%) were in the top 21%. Lancaster (14.1%) was in the top 40% of the rankings. These seven were above, or equal to, the GB proportion (14.1%). In contrast, Ribble Valley (6.8%) had the sixth lowest UC proportion in Great Britain, and the lowest in the L-14 area and the North West region.

Please note that the number of local authorities in Great Britain has fallen from 371 to 363, owing to local government boundary changes in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.

Blackpool (21,903 people) and Blackburn with Darwen (18,938 people) had the largest and second largest UC totals in the Lancashire-14 area in September 2021.

Preston had the largest total number of persons on Universal Credit (15,550) within the Lancashire-12 area in September 2021 (revised), followed by Lancaster (13,234), Burnley (12,655), Pendle (9,714), Hyndburn (9,607), and West Lancashire (8,801). Ribble Valley (2,499) had the lowest number of persons on Universal Credit in the area.

Table 1: Total number of persons on Universal Credit and rates (% of persons aged 16 to 64), November 2021 (revised), plus monthly and yearly changes - and changes from March 2020.  

Table 2: 'Not in employment' Universal Credit figures.  Table 3: 'In employment' Universal Credit figures.

Graph 1: People on Universal Credit, numbers for Lancashire-14 authorities - time series

Graph 2: People on Universal Credit, numbers for Great Britain and the North West region - time series

Graph 3: People on Universal Credit, rates (16-64 population) - time series

Note: Rates are for persons aged 16 to 64, calculated by Business Intelligence, Lancashire County Council, using 2015 to 2020 mid-year population estimates. Mid-year population estimates for 2020 have been used from January 2020 onwards. Numbers for the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas have been calculated by summing the relevant local authority figures. 

Source: DWP via Stat-Xplore, People on Universal Credit and Office for National Statistics - 2015 to 2020 Mid-year population estimates.

How to use the interactive table and graph functionality within the above dashboard.

Click on the column headings within the table 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 Power BI dashboard to enter full screen mode. Click the arrows next to the '1 to 6' label at the bottom of the dashboard to move through tables 1, 2 and 3, and graphs 1, 2 and 3. For the three time series graphs, select the geography required, then the variable(s) required (In employment/Not in employment/Total).

Important notice: data revised downwards from January 2016 to December 2018

The DWP has identified problems relating to individuals with multiple spells on Universal Credit (UC). Instead of showing multiple distinct periods of time when UC was claimed, individuals appear as if they had been on one long claim that started at the time of their original claim. In addition, owing to the input of incorrect dates, some individuals were recorded as being on UC for short periods before or after their genuine start and end dates.

The DWP has now resolved the above issues. As a result, the number of people on Universal Credit has been revised downwards from 8 January 2016 to 13 December 2018. The number removed increases over time, with 36,895 persons (2.4%) removed from the people on UC total at the GB level between the the provisional release of the December 2018 data (published in January 2019) and the revised release of the December 2018 data (published in February 2019). For the Lancashire-12 area, 1,292 persons (7.9%) were removed from the people on UC total over the same period, with downward revisions ranging from 7 people in Ribble Valley to 281 persons in Burnley, and 318 persons in Lancaster. Totals for previous months have also been corrected downwards. 

The issue was addressed in the 19th February 2019 Universal Credit Official Experimental Statistics publication. The DWP recommends that users do not use previously published Universal Credit Official Statistics for People on Universal Credit made between 8th January 2016 and 13th December 2018. Further details are contained the Statistical Notice published by the DWP on 19 February 2019.

Summary continued

Initial Covid-19 lockdown impact between March 2020 and May 2020

Owing to the initial lockdown on 23 March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the UK economy subsequently experienced a sharp, deep recession. Recovery of the economy to pre-pandemic levels is projected to be achieved by early in 2022 (assuming the Covid-19 virus, the supply chain issues or labour force issues do not cause further problems). The economic downturn was reflected in a substantial rise in the number of people on Universal Credit between March 2020 and May 2020.

In the Lancashire-12 area, UC total numbers rose from 60,594 in March 2020 to 99,812 in May 2020 (+39,218 persons, +64.7%). In the Lancashire-14 area, numbers increased from 84,349 in March 2020 to 137,072 persons in May 2020 (+52,723 persons, +62.5%). In Great Britain, total numbers rose from 3,011,519 in March 2020 to 5,255,668 persons in May 2020 (+2,244,149 people, +74.5%).

Whereas the increase in rates were higher for the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas than for Great Britain between March 2020 and April 2020, the increases were lower than the GB rise between April 2020 and May 2020.

The immediate impact of the lockdown on the Universal Credit total showed that between March 2020 and April 2020, the GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rose by 2.9 percentage points, to 10.3%. The rate for the Lancashire-12 area increased by a greater 3.3 percentage points, to 11.4%. The rate for the Lancashire-14 area increased by an even larger 3.6 percentage points over the month, to 12.7%. For the previous month, between February 2020 and March 2020, the rates for all these areas increased by just 0.2 percentage points.

Between April 2020 and May 2020, the GB rate for the total number of persons on Universal Credit rose by 2.6 percentage points, to 12.9%. The rate for the Lancashire-14 area increased by a lower 2.2 percentage points, but to 14.9%. The rate for the Lancashire-12 area increased by a marginally lower 2.0 percentage points over the month, but to 13.4%.

Further analysis

Lancashire-12, Lancashire-14 and GB changes to Universal Credit total numbers and rates since March 2020

In September 2021, the L-12 UC total (106,557 persons) is 45,963 people (75.9%) higher than the March 2020 total of 60,594 persons. The L-12 proportion in September 2021 (14.3%) is 6.2 percentage points higher than the 8.1% recorded in March 2020. 

The UC total in September 2021 for the Lancashire-14 area (147,398 people) is 63,049 people (74.7%) greater than the 84,349 persons recorded in March 2020. The L14 proportion in September 2021 (16.0%) is 6.9 percentage points higher than the March 2020 proportion of 9.1%.

The GB total in September 2021 (5,732,796 people) is 2,721,277 people (90.4%) greater than the total of 3,011,519 people recorded in March 2020. The GB proportion in September 2021 (14.1%) is 6.7 percentage points higher than the 7.4% in March 2020.

Please note that the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas had higher rates (and therefore proportionately higher numbers in relative terms) than the UK prior to lockdown. This may partly explain the lower percentage increases in the Lancashire areas since March 2020.

District and unitary authority changes to Universal Credit numbers and rates since March 2020

Within the Lancashire-14 area, in September 2021, the Blackpool total (21,903 people) is above the March 2020 total by the greatest extent (+9,536 persons, +77.1%). The Blackburn with Darwen total (18,938 people) is above the March 2020 total by the second largest amount (+7,550 persons, +66.3%). followed by Preston (+7,035 persons, +82.6%), Pendle (+5,038 persons, +107.7%), Burnley (+4,422 persons, +53.7%), Wyre (+4,309 persons, +101.8%), Lancaster (+4,171 persons +46.0%), and Hyndburn (+3,743 persons, +63.8%).   

Five of the remaining six Lancashire-14 areas have seen increases between March 2020 and September 2021 ranging from 3,692 (+72.3%) in West Lancashire, down to 2,570 (+1008%) in Fylde. Ribble Valley (+1,295 people, +107.6%) has seen the smallest rise in the area over the period.  

The difference in the total Universal Credit proportions between March 2020 and September 2021 for seven of the Lancashire-14 local authority areas were above the GB difference of +6.7 percentage points.

Blackpool (+11.4 percentage points) has seen the largest change between March 2020 and September 2021 in the area. Within the Lancashire-12 area, Pendle (+9.1 percentage points) has seen the greatest change in its proportion, followed by Burnley (+8.3 percentage points), Hyndburn (+7.6 percentage points), Preston (+7.6 percentage points) and Wyre (+6.8 percentage points).

The change for Blackburn with Darwen (within the Lancashire-14 area) was +8.0 percentage points between March 2020 and September 2021.

Ribble Valley (+3.5 percentage points) has seen the lowest change in both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas between March 2020 and September 2021.

Universal Credit full service provision rollout

Lancaster became a Universal Credit full service area in July 2016 – the first in the Lancashire-14 area. This means that persons can process claims online, rather than via the phone. More complex claims are also processed. The result was an acceleration in the number of persons claiming Universal Credit in Lancaster, which has now increased more than tenfold since July 2016 (up by 11,983 persons, 957.9%). 

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 the number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) since July 2016, which had fallen by 76.3% (648 persons), from 849 people in July 2016, to 201 people in July 2019. The JSA claimant proportion for Lancaster fell from 0.9% in July 2016, to 0.3% in July 2017, and remained at that level for the majority of the time to August 2018. The rate then fell to 0.2% in September 2018, where it remained (to July 2019). Other benefits that are being replaced by Universal Credit may also be similarly affected over time.

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. Preston and South Ribble became Universal Credit full service areas in March 2018 and Chorley in April 2018. Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale all became Universal Credit full service areas in July 2018. Fylde, Wyre and Blackpool were the last of the Lancashire-14 areas to transition to Universal Credit full service provision in September 2018.

The total number of people on Universal Credit in Burnley is now risen by 10,996 people (662.8%) greater than the May 2017 figure, increasing from 1,659 persons to 12,665 persons in September 2021, rising more than sevenfold.

Monthly and recent changes in Universal Credit totals for district and unitary authorities in the Lancashire-14 area

The monthly decreases in the number of people on Universal Credit between August 2021 and September 2021 for the majority of Lancashire-14 areas, were contrary and much lower in magnitude than the increases between March 2020 and April 2020, and between April 2020 to May 2020 seen at the beginning of the UK lockdown.

The changes between August 2021 and September 2021 show that eleven of the Lancashire-12 authorities recorded monthly decreases to the number of people on Universal Credit. Lancaster (down 157 people, -1.2%) saw the largest fall in the area, followed by West Lancashire (down 134 people, -1.5%) and Wyre (down 126 people, -1.5%).

Only one of the Lancashire-12 local authority areas recorded an increase to the total number of people on Universal Credit between August and September 2021. The total for for Burnley was up by 20 persons, (0.2%).

For comparison, between March 2020 and April 2020, totals rose the most in Preston (2,858 persons, 33.6%), followed by Lancaster (2,695 persons, 29.7%), Wyre (2,459 persons, 58.1%), Chorley (2,245 persons, 51.9%), West Lancashire (2,155, 42.2%) and South Ribble (2,090, 55.7%). Ribble Valley (936 persons, 77.7%) saw the smallest numeric rise over that month, but the largest percentage increase in the area.

Looking at the changes between April 2020 and May 2020, the increases were lower than those between March 2020 and April 2020, but were still very substantial. Preston (2,084 people, 18.3%) saw the largest rise in numbers, followed by Wyre (1,587 people, 23.7%), Lancaster (1,359 people, 11.6%), Burnley (1,340 people, 13.4%) and Pendle (1,294 people, 19.5%). Ribble Valley (538 persons, 25.1%) saw the smallest numeric rise over the previous month.

As a further comparison, the monthly percentage increases between February 2020 and March 2020, prior to lockdown, were much lower: 310 persons (3.8%) in Preston, 175 persons (2.0%) in Lancaster, 167 persons (4.1%) in Wyre, 164 persons (3.9%) in Chorley, 156 persons (3.1%) in West Lancashire, 125 persons (3.4%) in South Ribble and 42 persons (3.6%) in Ribble Valley.

In the wider Lancashire-14 area, the monthly changes between August 2021 and September 2021, show that Blackpool (down 338 people, -1.5%) had the greatest monthly decrease in the area, whilst Blackburn with Darwen (down by 117 persons, -0.6%) recorded the fifth smallest fall (out of 11 decreases in the Lancashire-14 area).

For comparison, between March 2020 and April 2020, Blackpool (5,245 people, 42.4%) recorded the greatest monthly increase in the wider Lancashire-14 area whilst the rise in Blackburn with Darwen (3,223 persons, 28.3%) was the second largest increase in the area. These were much greater than the monthly increases between February 2020 and March 2020, of 379 people (3.2%), in Blackpool, and 177 persons (1.6%) in Blackburn with Darwen.

Between April 2020 and May 2020, Blackpool (2,826 people, 16.0%) recorded the greatest monthly increase in the wider Lancashire-14 area, with the rise in Blackburn with Darwen (2,211 persons, 15.1%) being the second largest increase in the area.

Monthly and recent changes in Universal Credit rates for districts and unitary authorities in the Lancashire-14 area

Between August 2021 and September 2021, nine of the Lancashire-12 areas saw decreases to their Universal Credit proportions, whilst for three of the areas the proportions were unchanged.

The rate for Fylde fell by 0.3 percentage points over the month, whilst the rates for Lancaster, West Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Wyre and Burnley each fell by 0.2 percentage points. The rates for Hyndburn, South Ribble and Rossendale each fell by 0.1 percentage point. The rates for Preston, Chorley and Pendle were unchanged.

Within the wider Lancashire-14 area, the rate for Blackpool fell by 0.4 percentage points. The rate for Blackburn with Darwen decreased by 0.2 percentage points.

Looking at the immediate impact of the lockdown, between March 2020 and April 2020, all of the Lancashire-12 areas recorded increases to their total Universal Credit rates. The rate for Hyndburn (+4.0 percentage points) rose the most in the area, followed by Wyre (+3.9 percentage points), Rossendale (+3.8 percentage points) and Fylde (+3.7 percentage points). The rate for Pendle rose by 3.5 percentage points, whilst the rate for Burnley increased by 3.3 percentage points. The rates for Preston, Chorley, West Lancashire and South Ribble each increased by 3.1 percentage points. Lancaster (+2.8 percentage points) and Ribble Valley (+2.5 percentage points) were the only Lancashire-12 areas, where the increase in the rate for the Universal Credit total was lower than the GB monthly rise (+2.9 percentage points).

Within the wider Lancashire-14 area, the rate for Blackpool rose by the largest extent between March 2020 and April 2020, by +6.3 percentage points, whilst the rate for Blackburn with Darwen increased by +3.4 percentage points.

As a comparison, for the previous month, between February 2020 and March 2020, the increases in the rates for the Universal Credit totals ranged between just 0.2 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points in the Lancashire-14 area.

Between April 2020 and May 2020, the increases were lower than between March 2020 and April 2020, but again considerable. The rates for Wyre (+2.5 percentage points) and Burnley (+2.5 percentage points) rose the most in the Lancashire-12 area over the month, followed by Pendle (+2.4 percentage points), Preston (+2.2 percentage points), Fylde (+2.1 percentage points), Hyndburn (+2.1 percentage points) and Rossendale (+2.1 percentage points). In the Lancashire-14 area, the rate for Blackpool again rose by the largest extent in the area, increasing by 3.4 percentage points. The rate for Blackburn with Darwen increased by +2.4 percentage points.

Recent changes by Universal Credit 'Not in employment' and 'In employment' sub-categories since May 2020 

The pre-pandemic trend was generally for the 'Not in employment' UC category to rise by more than the increase for the UC 'In employment' category each month. As the Universal Credit system was rolled out, new claimants were added to the system. Subsequently, more complex cases from the previous legacy benefits were being transferred to Universal Credit. The transition to Universal Credit is currently estimated to be completed by September 2024. It had been expected that the number of people on Universal Credit would increase each month as the transfer to Universal Credit progressed.

The changes to the 'NOT in employment' and the 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-category numbers may not sum exactly owing to rounding and disclosure control measures.

However, between August 2021 and September 2021, the total number of people on Universal Credit in the Lancshire-12 area fell by 968 people (-0.9%). This is only the seventh fall in the total number of people on Universal Credit in the Lancashire-12 area since Universal Credit was implemented nationally in February 2015. Please note that some UC pilot areas started earlier in 2014. Generally, since May 2020, when increases to the UC monthly totals have occurred in the Lancashire-12 area, they have been similar, or lower, than to those prior to the initial Covid-19 lockdown, ranging from +2,337 people (+2.2%), to +73 persons (+0.1%) per month. This seventh decrease follows reductions recorded in the previous five months. The six latest decreases have ranged between falls of 149 persons and 968 persons. The recent reductions probably reflect an improvement in the demand for labour as businesses and the economy have opened-up from lockdown restrictions.  The first decrease in total UC numbers in the Lancshire-12 area, which was smaller in magnitude, occurred between December 2020 and January 2021, when the area recorded a small decrease of just 85 people (-0.1%).

Decreases to the Universal Credit totals for the Lancashire-14 area and Great Britain were also recorded between August 2021 and September 2021. These were the sixth consecutive reductions to the Universal Credit totals in these two areas, and the only decreases to UC totals since the Universal Credit system started.

The reductions in both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas, and Great Britain, occurred because the decreases to the 'Not in employment' UC category were greater in extent than the increases to the 'In employment' UC category between August 2021 and September 2021.

For the Lancashire-14 area, the total number of people on Universal Credit decreased by 1,423 people (-1.0%) between August 2021 and September1 2021. This is only the sixth, and consecutive, decrease in the total number of people on Universal Credit in the Lancashire-14 area since Universal Credit began. Again, since May 2020, when increases to the UC monthly totals have occurred in the Lancashire-14 area, they have been similar, or lower, than to those prior to the initial Covid-19 lockdown, ranging from +3,303 people (+2.3%), to +19 persons (0.0%) per month. This fifth decrease follows reductions recorded in the previous four months. The five decreases have ranged between falls of 67 people and 1,423 people.

During the initial years of the Universal Credit system roll out it had not been usual for the UC ''Not in employment' and In employment' sub-categories to record decreases. However, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rapid increase in Universal Credit numbers, reductions to either sub-category may reflect people finding employment, or higher paid employment (and no longer being entitled to Universal Credit), or represent a mixture flows on, off, and within the Universal Credit sub-categories.

August to September 2021 monthly changes in Universal Credit 'Not in employment' and 'In employment' sub-categories

Within GB, between August and September 2021, the fall in the number of people within the 'NOT in employment' Universal Credit sub-category was larger in extent than the rise within the 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-category, resulting in the overall decrease. 

The latest fall in the number of people within the GB 'NOT in employment' Universal Credit sub-category was only the ninth monthly reduction for this sub-category. All of the GB reductions for this sub-category have happened since July 2020.

Within Great Britain, between August 2021 and September 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category decreased by 69,122 people (-2.0%), whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category rose by 2,176 people (0.1%), leading to a total fall of 66,942 people.

The latest fall in the GB 'NOT in employment' UC sub-category was the sixth consecutive decrease. Previous decreases for this category happened in the months to October 2020, September 2020 and July 2020.

For Great Britain, between March 2021 and September 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category decreased by 346,909 people (-9.2%), whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category rose by 117,025 people (5.3%), leading to an overall fall of 229,881 people (-3.9%).  

Between August and September 2021, both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas also saw decreases to their respective 'NOT in employment' Universal Credit sub-categories and only small increases to their 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-categories – leading to the decreases to their overall totals.

In the L-12 area, between August and September 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category fell by 1,084 people (-1.7%) whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category rose by just 127 people (-0.3%) resulting in a fall in the Universal Credit total of 968 people (-0.9%). Please note that the total number may not sum, owing to individual rounding.

The latest fall in the Lancashire-12 'NOT in employment' UC sub-category was the sixth consecutive decrease. Previous decreases for this category happened in the months to October 2020, September 2020 and July 2020.

Across the Lancashire-12 area, between March 2021 and Sept 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category has decreased by 5,808 people (-8.5%), whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category has risen by 2,556 people (6.2%), leading to an overall fall of 3,245 people (-3.0%). Please note that the total number may not sum, owing to individual rounding.

For the Lancashire-14 area, from August to September 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category decreased by 1,562 people (-1.8%) whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category rose by 168 people (0.3%), resulting in a reduction of the Universal Credit total of 1,423 people (-1.0%). Please note that the total number may not sum, owing to individual rounding.

Across the Lancashire-12 area, between March 2021 and August 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category has decreased by 4,724 people (-6.9%), whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category has risen by 2,429 people (5.9%), leading to an overall fall of 2,277 people (-2.1%). Please note that the total number may not sum, owing to individual rounding.

For the Lancashire-14 area, from July to August 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category decreased by 48 people (-0.1%) whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category fell by 419 people (-0.7%), resulting in a reduction of the Universal Credit total of 437 people (-0.3%). Please note that the total number may not sum, owing to individual rounding.

The latest fall in the Lancashire-14 'NOT in employment' UC sub-category was the sixth consecutive decrease. Prior to this, the previous four decreases for this category happened in the months to October 2020, September 2020, August 2020 and July 2020.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, between March 2021 and September 2021, the number of people in the 'NOT in employment' UC category decreased by 8,576 people (-8.9%), whilst the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category rose by 4,394 people (7.9%), leading to an overall fall of 4,184 people (-2.8%).

Within the Lancashire-14 area, between August and September 2021, the monthly changes to the 'NOT in employment' Universal Credit sub-category were negative for all of the 14 local authority areas. For the 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-category seven of the Lancashire-14 areas recorded decreases and seven areas recorded increases.

NOT Decreases GREATER THAN IN Increases (= Overall Decrease)

The decreases to the respective 'NOT in employment' Universal Credit sub-category numbers in Chorley, Hyndburn, Preston, Rossendale, South Ribble and Blackburn with Darwen were greater than the increases in their 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-categories, resulting in overall reductions in September 2021.

NOT Decreases LOWER THAN IN Increases (= Overall Increase)

Pendle saw a decrease to the number of people within its 'NOT in employment' Universal Credit sub-category that was outweighed by the rise to its 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-categories, resulting in the overall increases in August 2021.

NOT Decreases AND IN Decreases (= Overall Decrease)

Burnley, Fylde, Lancaster, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, Wyre and Blackpool recorded decreases to both their 'NOT in employment' and 'IN employment' Universal Credit sub-categories resulting in the overall decreases in September 2021.

Recent previous changes in Universal Credit numbers by 'Not in employment' and 'In employment' sub-categories

Months where the 'IN employment' UC category decreased but the 'NOT in employment' UC category increases were greater (leading to a total increase)

Between January and February 2021, the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category in the L-12 area deceased by 923 people (-2.2%) whilst the 'NOT in employment' UC category rose by 1,413 (2.1%) people resulting in a rise of 480 people. The fall within the 'IN employment' UC category was the second consecutive decrease in 2021. Numbers within the 'IN employment' category also fell between December 2020 and January 2021 by 1,849 people (-4.2%). Prior to this, the Lancashire-12 'IN employment' category decreased by 385 people (-1.9%) between December 2019 and January 2020.

In Great Britain, between February 2021 and March 2021, the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category decreased by 4,551 people (-0.2%), whilst the number of people within the 'NOT in employment' UC category increased by 29,194 (0.8%) leading to a total rise of 24,645 persons. This was the third consecutive decrease within the 'IN employment' UC category in 2021 and just the eighth fall for this category since Universal Credit began. Between January 2021 and February 2021, the number of people within the 'IN employment' UC category decreased in GB by 41,104 people (-1.8%), whilst the number of people within the 'Not in employment' UC category increased by 88,653 (2.4%) leading to a rise of 47,547 people. This was the second consecutive decrease within the 'In employment' UC category in 2021. Numbers within the 'IN employment' category also fell by 64,349 people (-2.8%) between December 2020 and January 2021. Prior to this, the GB 'IN employment' category decreased by 16,383 people (-1.7%) between December 2019 and January 2020.

From January to February 2021, the number of people in the L-14 'IN employment' UC category decreased by 1,278 people (-2.3%) whilst the 'NOT in employment' UC category rose by 1,936 (2.1%), leading to a total rise of 646 people. The fall within the 'IN employment' UC category was the second consecutive decrease in 2021. Numbers within this category fell by 2,592 people (-4.4%) between December 2020 and January 2021. Prior to this, the L-14 'IN employment' category decreased by 555 people (-2.0%) between December 2019 and January 2020.

Yearly change in Universal Credit totals and rates

see dashboard (above) for data and graphs

'Not in employment' Universal Credit category: numbers, rates and change

For monthly and yearly changes in 'Not in employment' UC numbers and rates see the above dashboard for data and graphs

'In employment' Universal Credit category: numbers, rates and change

For monthly and yearly changes to 'In employment' UC numbers and rates see the above dashboard for data and graphs

Data

Page updated 6 December 2021