The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in August 2020 was 6,665. This represents a rate of 9.5% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.5%.

There are 3,920 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 310 more claimants than July 2020.

Figures are not seasonally adjusted and are rounded to the nearest five. “Unemployed claimants” include people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or who are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work.

Long term trends

The unadjusted claimant count is currently not a good indicator of long-term trends in the number of people looking for work. It does however provide us with a measure of how the number of claimants has changed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The adjusted alternative claimant count is updated on a quarterly basis. They are currently available up to May 2020 and will be next updated in October 2020.

The ongoing impact of coronavirus on Universal Credit

Under Universal Credit, a broader spectrum of people are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants. In addition to this, as part of the government’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of enhancements were introduced to Universal Credit. Consequently, whilst some of the increase in the unemployed claimant count will be due to people who have become unemployed, some will also be due to employed people who have become eligible for Universal Credit as part of the government response to Coronavirus. It must also be remembered that the claimant count statistics are likely to increase as the Government furlough scheme comes to an end.

Jon Cruddas MP: “the pandemic has led to a significant rise in Universal Credit claimants, and it is anticipated that as the furlough scheme comes to an end this number will rise again. Whilst many businesses have managed to stay afloat with government support, there will be those that inevitably do not return in October.

“We need a strategic withdrawal of support schemes tailored to the needs of specific sectors not the one size fits all solution being paraded by the Tories. This approach will not work for sectors like hospitality. Reopened pubs, restaurants and cafes are operating well below capacity, and their fortunes are closely linked to the decisions that are taken on social distancing.”