The Claimant Count

The Claimant Count is the most reliable data that we use in MtW.  While figures are published monthly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) it is still only an estimate, but one which is directly sourced from the DWP / Jobcentre Plus admin system.  It covers the whole of the UK.

The Claimant Count measures the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits, usually Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit (UC) and National Insurance Credits. 

The Claimant Count is NOT just about unemployment, but there is a large overlap.  It does not meet the internationally agreed definition of unemployment specified by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), but does include people on UC who are in work but with very low earnings.  Additionally, the Claimant Count can include some people who are NEET and economically inactive.

Trends in the Claimant Count since March 2020.

The table below shows the trend in Claimant Count since March 2020 for those aged 16 to 29 in the UK. The latest published figures are for July 2021.

Since last month there has been a drop of 35,705 in the Claimant Count for those aged 16 to 29. Overall there has been an average 0.3% drop compared to 0.5% last month, with London and the South West having the biggest overall reduction of 0.4%.

Other figures of relevance to the employment market are:-

    • The number of payroll employees showed another monthly increase, up 182,000 in July 2021. However, it still remains 201,000 below pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels.
    • In the latest period (April to June 2021), there was an increase in the employment rate of 0.3 percentage points to 75.1%, and a decrease in the unemployment rate which now stands at 4.7%.
          • The economic inactivity rate is now down to 21.1% which is 0.2% lower than last month.
          • There were 953,000 job vacancies in May to July 2021, which is a record high. This is 168,000 more than the pre-pandemic level for January to March 2020.
  • Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 8.8% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 7.4% in April to June 2021, up from 7.4% and 6.6% respectively in the previous month.
  • It appears that there are a record numbers of unfilled jobs, in sectors such as entertainment, accommodation and food.
  • There is no sign of redundancies starting to pick up or increase as the furlough scheme continues to wind down.