Claimant Count

The new experimental Claimant Count includes Jobseeker’s Allowance Claimants and those Universal Credit claimants who were claiming principally for the reason of being unemployed. 

Experimental Statistic

Users should note that revisions are to be expected while the Claimant  Count series is experimental and improvements are being made to the process. The experimental Claimant Count series is subject to three types of revisions:
       1) Monthly revisions due to updated information
       2) Monthly revision to seasonally adjusted data
       3) Annual revisions to seasonally adjusted data
More information available here.

Important Note

A number of claims to the Universal Credit element of the Claimant Count were supplied coded to incorrect locations for the periods December 2018 to November 2019. This has been corrected for December 2019 onwards, but previous periods remain affected. This particularly affects a number of claimants in Northern Ireland who have been incorrectly allocated to areas in Great Britain. The impact on Northern Ireland for December 2019 is an increase of less than 1,000 cases that had previously been distributed across Great Britain. At the UK level there should not be a net effect. This will mean that the change in the number of claimants between November and December 2019 will be incorrect for affected areas. 

The recent increases in claimant count can largely be attributed to the increase in the numbers of people becoming unemployed or having their hours reduced, resulting in very low earnings below the administrative earnings threshold. There may be some persons, previously not eligible for UC due to partner earnings, now eligible as a result of work allowance increases who would now be included within the count.  Estimates to identify the extent to which each group has contributed to the increase in claimant count are not available for NI.

Latest results published 19th July 2022

  • NI claimant count (experimental) increased by 0.1% over the month to 36,100.
  • In June 2022, 3.8% of the NI workforce was recorded on the claimant count.


Claimant count interactive maps


Click here for interactive claimant count map

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Impact of Universal Credit

Universal Credit was introduced in September 2017 to replace the income based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) element of the Claimant Count.

  • At June 2022, 77% of the Claimant Count was made up of Universal Credit claimants.

Claimant count background information

UK Claimant count data on NOMIS

UK Claimant Count data is available for comparison via NOMIS. Nomis is a service provided by the Office for National Statistics, ONS, to give you free access to the most detailed and up-to-date UK labour market statistics from official sources: nomis website

Alternative Claimant Count statistics 

The Alternative Claimant Count measures the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits. Before 2013 this was simply the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. However, since the introduction of Universal Credit from April 2013, the Claimant Count is measured as the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and the number of Universal Credit claimants placed in the 'Searching for Work' conditionality group.

Under Universal Credit a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance. These new Alternative Claimant Count statistics. measure the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits, by modelling what the count would have been if Universal Credit had been fully rolled out since 2013. The Alternative Claimant Count statistics are available from the Department for Work and Pensions

Mailing list

If you would like to be added to a mailing list and receive the latest publications on the day they publish please email: with the title of the publications you would like to receive.

Most recent documents

Contacts for Claimant Count

Claimant Count

Mark McFetridge
Telephone: 028 902 55172
Twitter: @NISRA