The Government has announced the monthly unemployment figure for May 2019. It states that the roll out of Universal Credit is currently affecting the claimant count. Change in claimant number may be a result of the roll out rather than changes in economic condition.
- The total number for the unemployed claimants in Leicester East constituency in May 2019 was 1,730.
- This represents a rate of 3.3% of the economically active population aged 16 – 64.
- The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.5%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimates from survey data, was 3.8% in February to April 2019.
- The number of claimants in Leicester East constituency is 590 higher than May 2019 and 50 higher than April 2019.
- There were 315 claimants ages 18 – 24 in May 2019, 90 higher than May 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 are now published. 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. These figure have not been updated this month, and will next be updated in July.
- 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 65 higher than February 2018, and 100 higher than January 2019.
*Note that this is three months behind the figures above.