Jobseeker’s Allowance: how long people claim for
1. Main facts and figures
- in July 2018, White British people were more likely than any other ethnic group to have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for the longest time period (104 weeks or more)
- people from the Other White group were more likely than any other ethnicity to have been claiming JSA for the shortest time period studied (13 weeks or less)
- due to the roll out of Universal Credit, it is not possible to compare the most recent data with previous years’ data or across regions
The ethnic categories used in this data
For this data, small counts in some areas and differences in the reporting of ethnicity mean that data may be unreliable when broken down into specific ethnic categories.
Therefore, the data is broken down into 6 broad ethnic groups, where ‘White Other’ refers to White ethnic minorities.
- White British
- White Other
- Black/Black British
- Asian/Asian British
‘Unknown’ is used where ethnicity was not recorded.
2. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||13 weeks or less||over 104 weeks||over 13 and up to 26 weeks||over 26 and up to 52 weeks||over 52 and up to 78 weeks||over 78 and up to 104 weeks|
3. By ethnicity and area
|Region||All||Asian||Black||Mixed||White British||White other||Other||Unknown|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||21.5||14.9||15.7||14.2||23.6||11.1||12.6||26.3|
The introduction of Universal Credit in 2013 affected the analysis of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claims over time. It led to some inconsistency in coverage and ongoing development work which has caused the series to be reclassified from National Statistics status to experimental official statistics.
As Universal Credit replaces JSA, only looking at JSA claims from 2013 onwards will result in an undercount of adults claiming a benefit while they are actively looking for work. As Universal Credit replaces JSA new claimants will start on Universal Credit rather than JSA. This means the average duration of JSA claims will increase naturally as there will be fewer new claims with short durations.
The JSA figures are drawn from the Jobcentre Plus administrative sources held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The claimant count includes a small number of clerical (paper) claims (0.2%), which are not held on Jobcentre systems. There is limited data on these claims, so they are not included in any tables by ethnicity. The Office for National Statistics Labour Market Division analyses and publishes the data on clerical claims.
The data is extracted monthly, three weeks after the total number of claimants is counted. The time delay between the count and extraction allows time for the claim to be processed by Jobcentre Plus staff and validated as a live claim. It also allows for the full cycle of fortnightly interviews to occur between the count date and the extract being produced.
Length of time claiming JSA is calculated using the start date of the claim and either the end date or the end of the month from which the latest extract has been taken, if they are still claiming the benefit.
As the figures are calculated from administrative data they can be affected by changes to the benefits system and employment-related policy. More information about these changes and how they can influence data is available from the Quality and Methodology Information for JSA Claimant count.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Counts of less than 5 have not been included in the data, because the numbers involved are too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.
Percentages shown are rounded to 1 decimal place. Download the data to see caseload figures rounded to the nearest 5.
Further technical information
5. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Work and Pensions
Purpose of data source
The data is an administrative source collected to enable Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to monitor and report on claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and other benefits.
6. Download the data
This file contains data for January 2012 to July 2018. This file contains: ethnicity, time, geography, duration, number of cases, value, value type