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.