People claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance

The main facts and figures show that:

  • overall in 2017, 1.0% of White people (including White ethnic minorities) in England and Wales claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance, compared with 1.6% of people from all other ethnic groups combined
  • in all regions in 2017, the percentage of White people claiming JSA was lower than that of people from all other ethnic groups combined
  • the percentage of White people claiming JSA was lowest in the East, South West and South East (at 0.7% in all three regions); for those from all other ethnic groups combined, it was lowest in the South East (0.8%)
  • the North East had the highest percentage of White people claiming JSA (1.9%), and the West Midlands had the highest percentage of people from all other ethnic groups claiming JSA (2.6%)
  • for 2017, percentages for White claimants and claimants from all other ethnic groups combined are underestimated, as the ethnicity of 3.2% of JSA claimants was not known
Things you need to know

The population figures used for this data are estimates based on the 2011 Census held in England and Wales.

The Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant figures are based on Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administrative data. They are the average number of claimants per month in each year. They exclude claims where the claimants' application details only exist on paper, not on a centralised computer system. 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.

The 2011 Census does not include an option for people who prefer not to state their ethnicity, while JSA claimants can choose not to do so. As a result, the figures shown for White and all other ethnic groups may be lower than the actual totals because figures for unreported ethnicity are not included in those groups. In 2017, ethnicity was unreported for 3.2% of JSA claimants.

Figures for 'All' ethnic groups include JSA claimants whose ethnicity is unreported, so the sum of White and all other ethnic groups does not equal the total for all claimants.

What the data measures

This data measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) as a percentage of the total working-age population.

A person who is working age (aged 16 to 64 years) can usually claim JSA if they:

  • are available for work
  • are actively seeking work
  • work on average less than 16 hours per week
  • are not in full-time education
  • meet certain conditions if they are aged 16 to 17 years
  • are not in an area where they would claim Universal Credit

As Universal Credit replaces income-related JSA, the number of JSA claimants will fall.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Two different sources were used for these figures: Department for Work and Pensions administrative data, and population estimates based on the 2011 Census.

These data sources don’t collect ethnicity information in the same way and, as a result, the figures cannot be split into detailed ethnic categories.

Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad groups:

  • White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

People whose ethnicity is 'Unreported' (because their ethnicity was not recorded or they chose not to state their ethnicity) are counted in measurements for ‘All’ groups. However they are not counted where data is broken down by White and Other.

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

People claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance by ethnicity

Percentage and number of people within each ethnic group claiming Jobseekers Allowance

Ethnicity % Number of claimants
All 1.1 407,620
White 1.0 296,288
Other than White 1.6 94,899

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall in 2017, 1.0% of White people in England and Wales claimed claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), compared with 1.6% of people from all other ethnic groups combined (shown as ‘Other than White’ in charts and tables)
  • percentages for White claimants and claimants from all other ethnic groups are underestimates, as the ethnicity of 3.2% of JSA claimants was not known

People claiming Jobseeker's Allowance by ethnicity over time

Percentage of people within each ethnic group claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, over time

Ethnicity 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
% % % % % % %
White 3.3 3.4 3.0 2.1 1.5 1.1 1.0
Other than White 4.5 4.6 4.1 3.0 2.3 1.9 1.6

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2012 and 2017, the percentage of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell each year for both the White ethnic group and all other ethnic groups combined – this is likely to be a result of both economic factors and income-related JSA being gradually replaced by Universal Credit
  • in every year from 2011 to 2017, the percentage of White people claiming JSA was consistently lower than the percentage of people from all other ethnic groups combined
  • the gap between the percentages of White people and those from all other ethnic groups combined claiming JSA narrowed each year, from 1.2 percentage points in 2011 to 0.6 percentage points in 2017
  • the percentages for White claimants and claimants from all other ethnic groups are underestimates, as the ethnicity of some JSA claimants was not known during the period studied

People claiming Jobseeker's Allowance by ethnicity and area

Percentage of people within each ethnic group claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, by area

Ethnicity All East East Midlands London North East North West South East South West Wales West Midlands Yorkshire and The Humber
% % % % % % % % % % %
White 1.0 0.7 0.9 0.8 1.9 0.9 0.7 0.7 1.2 1.2 1.3
Other than White 1.6 1.0 1.3 1.5 2.0 1.8 0.8 1.1 1.8 2.6 2.1

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • across all regions in England in 2017, the percentage of White people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was less than the percentage of those from all other ethnic groups combined
  • the largest difference between the percentage of White people claiming JSA and the percentage of people from all other ethnic groups was in the West Midlands (at 1.4 percentage points), and the smallest difference was in the South East and the North East (both at 0.1 percentage points)
  • the percentages for White claimants and claimants from all other ethnic groups are underestimates, as the ethnicity of some JSA claimants was not known during the period studied

Methodology

Methodology

The population counts (the denominators) are estimates based on the 2011 England and Wales Census.

Claimant figures used are the average number of claimants per month in each year. (Mid-year or end-year counts would give different percentages because of fluctuations in the JSA claimant count across the year.)

The number of people claiming JSA has been drawn from administrative datasets held by the Department for Work and Pensions. JSA claimant counts are published monthly.

Rounding

JSA claimant counts are rounded to the nearest 5. Percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.1%.

Related publications

Jobseeker's Allowance stocks and flows by ethnicity, age and duration

Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative and survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Department for Work and Pensions

Publication frequency

Monthly

Purpose of data source

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count is administrative data used for internal management information and producing published statistics.

Population counts are collected for the England and Wales Census held every 10 years.

Secondary source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Every 10 years

Purpose of data source

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant count is administrative data used for internal management information and producing published statistics.

Population counts are collected for the England and Wales Census held every 10 years.

Download the data

JSA claimaints V2 - Spreadsheet (csv) 78 KB

This file contains data for the years 2011 to 2017. This is the latest data available. This file contains the following: year, region, ethnicity, numerator, denominator and rate.