Jobseeker's Allowance: sanctions
1. Main facts and figures
from October 2013 to December 2016, the percentage of claimants receiving sanctions fell, both for those in the White ethnic group and those in other ethnic groups combined
in December 2016, the percentage of claimants sanctioned from ethnic minorities other than White ethnic minorities (1.7%) was slightly greater than the percentage of White claimants sanctioned (1.5%)
older claimants were less likely to be sanctioned than younger claimants
claimants of Mixed ethnicity were more likely to be sanctioned than claimants from any other ethnic group, but this group also has the highest percentage of claimants aged 18 to 24 (a group more likely to receive sanctions regardless of ethnicity) and the lowest percentage of people aged 50 and over (the age group least likely to be sanctioned)
The ethnic categories used in this data
For this data, the number of people from specific ethnic categories surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions.
Therefore, the data is broken down into 6 broad groups, where ‘White Other’ refers to White ethnic minorities:
- Asian/Asian British
- Black/Black British
- White British
- White Other
In the analysis of sanctions by ethnicity over time, the data is broken down into 2 broad groups:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other – all other ethnic minorities
2. By ethnicity
3. By ethnicity and area
|Area||All||Asian||Black||Mixed||White British||White Other||Other|
|East of England||1.8||1.5||1.7||2.8||1.8||0.9||2.1|
|Scotland||1.4||1.1||1.7||withheld to protect confidentiality||1.4||1.6||1.3|
|South West||1.4||withheld to protect confidentiality||1.8||2.1||1.3||1.4||1.7|
|Wales||1.4||2.8||1.3||2.2||1.3||1.9||withheld to protect confidentiality|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||2.2||2.7||2.2||2.4||2.1||2.0||1.5|
4. By ethnicity and age group
|Aged 18-24||Aged 25-49||Aged 50+|
|Ethnic group||Aged 18-24 %||Aged 18-24 Number of sanctions||Aged 25-49 %||Aged 25-49 Number of sanctions||Aged 50+ %||Aged 50+ Number of sanctions|
5. By ethnicity over time
|Month||White %||White Number of sanctions||Other %||Other Number of sanctions|
Figures on the number of claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) are based on Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administrative data.
These figures only include details of claimants’ applications that are on DWP’s computer records. Applications may not be on the system for a variety of reasons, such as missing or incomplete information. These are known as ‘non-computerised clerical claims’, and make up approximately 1% of all claims.
Figures on the number of decisions to stop JSA (‘sanctions’) are official statistics from the DWP Quarterly Benefits Summary and the dissemination tool Stat-Xplore.
The monthly percentage is calculated by dividing the number of decisions to apply a sanction in a full calendar month by the claimant count at a point in time in the same month.
Sanction decisions here do not include decisions that have been reversed, for example on an appeal by the claimant.
The point-in-time monthly claimant count is calculated as the number of people claiming JSA on the second Thursday of the month.
Statistics on JSA sanctions are taken from a combination of data from 3 data systems. Recording and clerical errors can occur within these systems, and for this reason no reliance should be placed on very small numbers.
The JSA claimant count is published monthly and the number of sanctions is published quarterly, giving a monthly breakdown.
The methodology for calculating the experimental monthly percentage of claimants sanctioned each month was recently changed in the August Quarterly Benefits Summary, and differs from that used here. The new methodology is based on the start and end dates of sanctions. Figures calculated using the new methodology will be available from Stat-Xplore at a later date.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Where the numbers involved are too small to draw any meaningful conclusions, the data has been ‘suppressed’. This means it has been excluded from the analysis. For this data, cell values have been randomly adjusted. Random adjustment is the best way to avoid the release of identifiable data.
These adjustments result in small, introduced random errors. However, the information value of the table as a whole is not impaired.
It’s not possible to say which individual figures are affected, but the variability introduced by the adjustment is generally small enough to be ignored.
Values can also be affected by respondent and processing errors. You should treat data where the numbers are small with particular care.
Statistical disclosure control has been applied to sanction counts within Stat-Xplore to prevent individual claimants being identified.
Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.
The [Benefit Sanctions Statistics publication] (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions) includes sanctions data from November 2016 onwards.
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Work and Pensions
Purpose of data source
The figures for the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and the number of decisions to stop benefit (‘sanctions’) are administrative data used to produce official and experimental statistics.
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Purpose of data source
The main purpose of the Annual Population Survey (APS) is to provide good quality estimates about the UK workforce. It’s the largest household study in the UK in terms of how many people it’s sent to and how in depth the questions are. It provides the official measures of employment and unemployment.
The survey measures all elements of people's work, including:
- the education and training needed to equip them for work
- features of their jobs
- unemployment and job seeking
- income from work and benefits
8. Download the data
Region, month, ethnic group, numerator, denominator