All of the largest 64 cities saw their claimant count rates fall on the previous month.
The latest labour market figures show claimant unemployment in the UK fell again over the previous month, down 2.6 per cent. This is a trend seen across the UK, with all of the largest 64 cities seeing their claimant count rates fall on the previous month.
This month’s labour market blog looks at how the proportion of people moving off JSA (JSA off-flows) varies across the country. It also looks at how many of those ending a claim for JSA do so because they begin to claim a different benefit.
Figure 1 shows the share of claimants ending their claim for JSA over the course of the previous month. Typically, those cities with the highest claimant count rates have the lowest proportion of claimants ending a claim. For example, Hull and Birmingham have high claimant count rates and a low proportion of people leaving JSA during the month. This indicates that cities with high claimant count rates may be more likely to see people stuck on JSA.
There is also large variation in off-flows across the UK. Nearly 40 per cent of claimants stopped claiming JSA in Oxford. This compares to just 15 per cent in Belfast. This reflects the relative strengths of the labour market in these two cities: Oxford is a city with a very low claimant count rate, whereas Belfast is has one of the highest.Geographically, the cities seeing the highest proportion of people ending a claim for JSA are clustered in the South, including Worthing, Cambridge and Bournemouth.
Fig 1: Claimant count off-flows (March 2014)
Given that some people who move into work merely fail to sign on rather than reporting to the Job Centre that they have found work, it is not possible to know exactly how many people stop claiming JSA because they have found work. However, the number of people leaving JSA because they have started claiming a different benefit is known.
In total, 3.4 per cent of people left JSA to claim another benefit, but the picture looks very different across the country.
Figure 2 illustrates that claimants in southern cities are less likely toleave JSA to claim another benefit. This suggests they are more likely to end a claim because they have found work. Once again, there is a deal of variation across the UK, ranging from 1.1 per cent in Oxford to 4.8 per cent in Belfast.
Fig 2: Proportion leaving JSA to claim another benefit (March 2014)
The latest city-by-city data can be found below:
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