Data released this morning from the Office for National Statistics shows that Bexley’s active claimant count (those in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit) saw an unexpected rise in the June to July 2016 period, increasing by 85 to 1,955.
Source: Nomis – Claimant Count and Job Seeker’s Allowance data
Historically there has been a slight decrease in the active claimant count in this period, before a rise in the July to August period following the end of the academic year and the start of the summer holidays.
Data suggests that there has been an early start to that pattern this year, with the estimated number of claimants in receipt of Universal Credit increasing by 145 over the period. Universal Credit claimants now make up 22% of all active benefit claimants living in Bexley.
This figure is highest in those aged 18 to 24, where 49% of those in receipt of an active benefit are claiming Universal Credit, compared to just 8% of those aged 50 to 64.
At present Universal Credit in Bexley is only available to those with simple claims, which explains why the figure is so high for younger claimants who are less likely to have children of their own or require support with housing costs.
Positively, the number in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance fell by 60 in the period and July 2016 marks the 10th consecutive month that Bexley’s active claimant count has been below 2,000.
The latest Bexley profile is available from Nomis at: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/la/1946157262/report.aspx