A new dataset is released on Nomis today measuring the Claimant Count by sex and age with figures for local authorities and small areas down to lower-layer super output areas.
This experimental series counts the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance plus those who claim Universal Credit who are out of work and replaces the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance as the headline indicator of the number of people claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed.
Universal Credit estimates are still being developed by the Department for Work and Pensions. We have therefore decided that the Claimant Count estimates including Universal Credit, which have been published as an alternative measure for regions and countries of the UK since July 2014, will continue to be designated as experimental statistics even though they are now the headline measure.
The coverage of the Universal Credit estimates does not precisely match the Claimant Count definition, because it includes some claimants who are not required to seek work.
Revisions: when new figures are released the previous months figures will be revised due to revision of the Universal Credit figures.
Rounding: All data are rounded to the nearest 5 and may not precisely add to the sum of the number of people claiming JSA, published on Nomis, and the number of out-of-work people claiming Universal Credit, published by DWP, due to independent rounding.
What is the Claimant Count?
The Claimant Count measures the number of people claiming benefit principally for the reason of being unemployed:
- from November 2013, the Claimant Count includes all out of work Universal Credit claimants as well as all JSA claimants
- between May 2013 and October 2013, the Claimant Count includes all claimants of Universal Credit (including those who were in work) as well as all JSA claimants
- between October 1996 and April 2013, the Claimant Count is a count of the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- between January 1971 (when comparable estimates start) and September 1996, it is an estimate of the number of people who would have claimed unemployment-related benefits if Jobseeker’s Allowance had existed at that time
Ideally only those Universal Credit claimants who are out of work and required to seek work should be included in the Claimant Count, but it is not currently possible to produce estimates on this basis. The Claimant Count therefore currently includes some out of work claimants of Universal Credit who are not required to look for work; for example, due to illness or disability.
The Claimant Count includes people who claim unemployment-related benefits but who do not receive payment. For example, some claimants will have had their benefits stopped for a limited period of time by Jobcentre Plus. Some people claim JSA in order to receive National Insurance Credits.
Further information on the Claimant Count is available in the latest Statistical Bulletin