Data released this week by the Office for National Statistics shows that, in September 2016, Bexley’s active benefit claimant count (those in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit) did not change from the 2,025 seen in August 2016.
Source: ONS – Claimant Count and Jobseeker’s Allowance data
Despite no change in the headline figure, estimates suggest there were 55 fewer JSA claimants and an additional 55 Universal Credit claimants compared to last month.
As a result, these estimates suggest that over a quarter of Bexley’s active benefit claimants are in receipt of Universal Credit and that 6 in 10 active benefit claimants aged 18 to 24 have moved across to the new benefit.
Typically we see a decline in the active benefit claimant count from September as Christmas recruitment starts. However, following the introduction of Universal Credit to Bexley this year, we may not see this trend as claimants who would have had to close their JSA claim last year may not have to close their claim this year if they are now in receipt of Universal Credit.