This paper provides figures for the number of people claiming unemployment benefits (the “claimant count”) by parliamentary constituency, as well as a summary of the latest labour market statistics for the UK as a whole. There was a modest increase in employment and a small fall in unemployment over the past quarter. The rate of average earnings growth continued to increase, although annual growth in average earnings remained slightly below CPI inflation.Jump to full report >>
The claimant count figures provided in this paper are affected by the ongoing rollout of Universal Credit. The claimant count comprises people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, or people claiming Universal Credit who are required to seek work. Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants. The effect is most visible in areas operating Universal Credit "Full Service” (where rollout of Universal Credit is more advanced).
Therefore, changes in claimant numbers or constituency rankings may be a consequence of the Universal Credit rollout rather than changes in economic conditions. In areas operating Full Service, there has been a sharp increase in the claimant count over the past year. However in constituencies not operating Full Service, their constituency ranking (based on their claimant rate) may still be affected – as Full Service areas move up the rankings, other areas must necessarily move down the rankings.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8286
Authors: Feargal McGuinness; Jennifer Brown; Matthew Ward