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.Jump to full report >>
Growth in average pay continued to accelerate in the latest quarter, as average pay excluding bonuses grew at its fastest rate since the end of 2008 (not adjusting for inflation). Employment and unemployment both saw modest increases compared to the previous quarter, although the unemployment rate remains very low by historical standards. Despite a large fall in employment of other EU nationals (the largest annual fall since comparable records began), employment remains well above its level last year.
The Library has updated the denominators used to calculate constituency claimant rates following the publication of new constituency population estimates for mid-2017 and revisions to population estimates for previous years. Denominators have also been updated to reflect recent changes in economic activity at the national and regional level.
Therefore the claimant rates in this month’s paper are not comparable with rates shown in previous editions, although in most cases the effect of the change is very small. Instead the Library’s Constituency Dashboard provides rates that are consistent over time, from May 2010 onwards.
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 following the introduction of Full Service.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8437
Authors: Feargal McGuinness; Olivia Phelan; Andy Powell