The Government has announced the monthly unemployment figures for February 2019. It states that the roll out of Universal Credit is currently affecting the claimant count. Changes in claimant numbers may be a result of the roll out rather than changes in economic conditions.
- The total number of unemployed claimants in Leicester East constituency in December 2018 was 1,625.
- This represents a rate of 3.1% of the economically active population aged 16-64.
- The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.3%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 3.9% in November 2018 to January 2019.
- The number of claimants in Leicester East constituency is 530 higher than February 2018 and 170 higher than January 2019.
- There were 300 claimants aged 18-24 in February 2019, 100 higher than February 2018.
Figures are not seasonally adjusted and are rounded to the nearest five. ‘Unemployed claimants’ include people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or who are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work.
How do figures change when we adjust for Universal Credit roll out?
- Universal Credit requires a broader group of claimants to look for work than was the case under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants after Universal Credit is rolled out in an area.
- To adjust for this, new statistics have been published today. In addition to counting people currently claiming unemployment benefits, they include people who would have been required to look for work had Universal Credit always been in place. Using this alternative count, there would have been 2,540 unemployed claimants in Leicester East in November 2018.
- On this basis, the number of claimants would have been 46 lower than November 2017, and 18 higher than October 2018.