Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) we anticipate that there will be some changes in terms of our regular statistical production. See the COVID-19 and the production of statistics page for more information. From April 2020 and until further notice, experimental claimant count information will be published on the NISRA website at 7am, a change from the standard 9.30am release time.
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.
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 23rd February 2021
- NI claimant count (experimental) decreased over the month to 56,700
- In January 2021, 6.1% of the NI workforce were recorded on the claimant count
Claimant count interactive maps
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- Annual average for parliamentary constituency area
- Annual average for council area
- Monthly data for parliamentary constituency area
- Monthly data for council area
- Monthy data for Super Output Area
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 January 2021, 78% of the Claimant Count was made up of Universal Credit claimants.
Claimant count background information
- Changes to Claimant Count following the introduction of Universal Credit
- Difference between ILO unemployment (LFS) and the claimant count (JSA only)
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
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