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. The UK employment rate was at a record high of 75.7% in March-May 2018, the inactivity rate was at a joint record low of 21.0% and the unemployment rate was at its joint lowest level since 1975 at 4.2%. Average weekly pay grew slightly faster than prices, both including and excluding bonuses.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. So changes in claimant numbers may be a consequence of the Universal Credit rollout rather than changes in economic conditions.
The effect is most visible in areas operating Universal Credit "Full Service”, where rollout of Universal Credit is more advanced: in these areas, there tends to have been a sharp increase in the claimant count over the past year.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8366
Authors: Feargal McGuinness; Matthew Ward