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.Quality and methodology information