Posted on April 16th, 2019 in Local News

The Government has announced the monthly unemployment figures for March 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.

Key facts

  • The total number of unemployed claimants in Leicester East constituency in December 2018 was 1,625.
  • This represents a rate of 3.2% of the economically active population aged 16-64.
  • The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.4%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 3.9% in December 2018 to February 2019.
  • The number of claimants in Leicester East constituency is 545 higher than March 2018 and 65 higher than February 2019.
  • There were 325 claimants aged 18-24 in March 2019, 105 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 2,675 unemployed claimants in Leicester East in February 2019.
  • On this basis, the number of claimants would have been 63 higher than February 2018, and 99 higher than January 2019.