Working age benefits
Looking at "Out-of-work" benefits alone, for Great Britain in February 2022 the claimants of working age benefits amounted to 13.0% of the working age population, whilst for the Lancashire-12 area, the rate was slightly higher at 13.7%. In Burnley and the unitary authority of Blackpool, the rates were above 20%, while in Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen the rates were just below this. For Blackpool, the rate of 25.9% was the highest in the country. The rate for the whole Lancashire-14 area was 15.3%.
In terms of all working age benefits, including those claimed by people or households at least partly in work, the national rate was 22.4% of the working age population. The Lancashire-12 rate was once again slightly higher at 22.9%. The rate in Blackpool of 40.2% was again the highest in the country. The rate for the whole Lancashire-14 area was 25.3%.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), via their online Stat-Xplore Tool releases data for the numbers of working age benefit claimants for a number of different geographies. The results were previously, but are not currently, published via the National Online Manpower Information Service. This article is based on statistics published in the 'Benefit Combination' section, and includes benefits such as Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance which are covered in more detail in neighbouring Lancashire Insight articles on benefits. The specific statistics for these benefits are published on a more frequent basis than as a combination of them all. We are here only including benefits which are available to the working age population, and have tried to restrict the caseload figures to claimants who are of working age, although some benefits are claimed on behalf of a household rather than an individual, and a household may include people claiming benefits in both age groups, and also in a mixture of 'in-work' and 'out-of-work' categories.
The benefit results are arranged hierarchically and claimants are assigned to the topmost benefit that they receive. Thus, someone receiving both bereavement benefit and disability living allowance would be classified as 'disabled'.
|Out of work benefits||"In work" (not out of work) benefits|
|Statistical group||Benefits included||Statistical group||Benefits included|
|Jobseekers||Jobseeker's Allowance claimants (JSA)||Housing||Housing Benefit (HB)|
|Incapacity benefits (INCAP) ||Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA)||Disabled||Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP)|
|Others in income-related benefit||Other income support (including IS disability premium) or Pension Credit (PC)||Bereaved||Bereavement support payment (BSP), widow's benefit, bereavement benefit or industrial death benefit claimants (WB/BB)|
|Other||Carer's Allowance (CA)|
|General||Universal Credit (UC)|
 Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. Universal credit is a working-age benefit that is growing in importance.
Lancashire, regional and national results
Out of work benefits
For Great Britain as a whole in February 2022, the "out-of-work" working age benefit caseload was around 5.3 million, or 13.0% of the working age population (Table 1). For the North West region the number of claimants was 720,370 or 15.8% of the working age population.
For the Lancashire-12 area, the number amounted to 101,940 or 13.7% of the working age population. High percentage rates were recorded in in Burnley (21.2%) and Hyndburn (19.3%) and the rates in Pendle and Preston were over 15%.
Rates were high in the two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen (19.1%) and especially Blackpool (25.9%). This contributed to the Lancashire-14 area recording a rate (15.3%) that was 2.3 percentage points above the GB average.
Combined "out of work" and "in work" benefits
In February 2022, the "out of work" plus "in-work" working age benefit caseload was just over 9 million in Great Britain, or 22.4% of the working age population (Table 1). For the North West region the number of claimants was under 1¼ million or 25.7% of the working age population.
For the Lancashire-12 area, the number amounted to 170,870 or 22.9% of the working age population. High percentage rates were recorded in Burnley (34.4%) and Hyndburn (30.9%) and the rate in Pendle was not far below 30%.
Rates were high in the two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen (31.3 and especially Blackpool (40.2%). This contributed to the Lancashire-14 area recording a rate (25.3%) that was 2.9 percentage points above the GB average.
Tables and figures in a Microsoft Power BI dashboard
The Microsoft Power BI slides below contain tables showing the total working age benefit caseloads ("out of work" and all benefits), individual "out of work" benefit caseloads, combinations of "out of work" and "in work" benefits, an interactive map of caseloads by Lower layer Super Output Area, and time-series graphs of the benefit combinations and just "out of work benefits". To enlarge the slides to full-screen, click on the arrow on the slide's footer that looks like this. To return to a normal display, use the Escape (Esc) key. To economise on space, we have had to abbreviate the benefit names, particularly on the combination of benefits slides
Tables 1, 2 and 3, figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Source: Department for Work and Pensions (Stat-Xplore)
Figures 1 and 2 (on the same slide) complement each other. The filter/slicer allows selection of any number of benefit combinations for the working age group, and the results are for the 14 Lancashire local authorities.
Figure 3 shows either the total number of "out-of-work" claimants, "in-work" claimants, or the two combined into a single working age claimant figure in each Lower layer Super Output Area. This interactive map can be filtered by district, whereupon it zooms into that district.
Figure 5 shows the "out-of-work" combinations of benefits, and has a district filter that allows viewing of any single district's benefit claimants by quarter beginning in February 2013. The figures for a number of districts can be summed by adding to a selection of districts. This can be done by holding down the control key when clicking on an additional district. The graph for Lancaster district differs from the general pattern by showing a steeper decline in caseloads for the older "out-of-work" benefits, combined with a faster uptake of Universal Credit. This can be strongly linked to the fact that Lancaster became a Universal Credit full service area in July 2016, as highlighted in the Claimants for Jobseekers Allowance report (Section 3.5.2 and Figure 2) and in the Universal Credit article. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a huge rise in claimants of Universal Credit, which show in the last four available quarters.
We have re-instated the static map (figure 6) for the number of claimants for the smaller Census Output Area geography, of which there are 4,840 in the Lancashire-14 area. This shows the working age caseload of both "out-of-work" and "in-work" benefits. It is complicated to extract a lot of detailed data for this small geography from Stat-Xplore, and mapping this in Microsoft Power BI would impact the performance of the dashboard, hence it is available as a PDF download here. This is not the latest version.
Figure 6: Working age benefits, all types, by census output area,
August 2021 (PDF 1.8 MB)
Page updated September 2022