As the country continues in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic, official statistics are not yet available to show what the full impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the claimant count will be.

As mentioned in the March report around 14% of employees in Dagenham and Rainham work in the sectors most vulnerable to job losses or being furloughed due to the virus. Although not the best indicator of employment trend, the steep rise in the unadjusted employment figures, is a real cause for concern. Over the years Jon Cruddas MP and the Council have worked incredibly hard to bring skilled jobs to the area, which has included the film studio and the largest data centre in the UK. Although investment has all but come to a halt Jon and the Council are working hard to bring jobs to Dagenham and Rainham.

Jon commented: “the statistics are not an accurate depiction of the impact the virus is having on our local economy. I know lots of my constituents will be struggling at the moment, but I am confident that the people of Dagenham and Rainham have the resilience, ingenuity, and resourcefulness to pull through what is an exceedingly difficult time.”

The April 2020 figures for the unadjusted count have been published today, these are based on the count as at Tuesday 19th April.

Claimant count information

This data provides the figures for two different series:

    1. The alternative claimant count, which models how many people would have claimed unemployment related benefits had Universal Credit been fully in place since 2013. Though this series does not represent the actual number of people claiming, it provides a better indication of unemployment trends than the unadjusted figures. The next release of the alternative count is not due for release until July 2020, figures for this series up to February 2020 are given below.
    2. The unadjusted claimant count which shows the number of people who have claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance or are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work. Figures for this series for April 2020 have been published today. 

The alternative count

    •    - Using the alternative count, there would have been 3,115 unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham in February 2020, 160 higher than February 2019.
    •    - This represents a rate of 4.5% of the population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.1%.

Universal Credit requires a broader group of claimants to look for work than was the case under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of people claiming unemployment benefits after Universal Credit is rolled out in an area.

The alternative claimant count adjusts for this. In addition to counting people currently claiming unemployment benefits, it includes people who would have been required to look for work had Universal Credit always been in place.

The unadjusted count

Due to the roll-out of Universal Credit, the unadjusted claimant count is currently not a good indicator of trends in the number of people who are looking for work.

    •    - There were 4,320 actual claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in April 2020,  which was 6.2% of the population aged 16-64.
    •       The equivalent UK claimant count was 5.1%
    •    - This was 1,585 higher than March 2020 and 1,990 higher than April 2019.
    •    - There were 745 claimants aged 18-24 in April 2020, 270 higher than March 2020 and 325 higher than April 2019.

All figures are rounded to the nearest five. Figures are not adjusted for seasonal effects.