Official statistics are not yet available that will show the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the claimant count. Figures for the alternative claimant count have now been published up to February 2020. The March 2020 figures for the unadjusted count have been published today, but these will be based on the count as at Thursday 12th March and therefore will not indicate the full impact of the outbreak.

Employees in the most vulnerable sectors

The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak will differ from sector to sector, with some sectors seen as being particularly vulnerable to job losses. The IFS provided a list of vulnerable sectors in their report Sector shutdowns during the coronavirus crisis: which workers are most exposed?.

According to the ONS Business Register and Employment survey, around 14% of employees in Dagenham and Rainham worked in one of these vulnerable sectors in 2018. This compares to 14% of employees in London and 18% in Great Britain.

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. Figures for this series up to February 2020 have been updated today.
  1. The unadjusted claimant count which shows the number of people who have actually claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance, or are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work. Figures for this series for March 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, 210 higher than February 2019.

   - This represents a rate of 4.5% of the population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.2%. 

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.

The number of actual claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in March 2020 was 2,760, which was 4.0% of the population aged 16-64. On this basis, the number of claimants was 545 higher than March 2019 and 70 higher than February 2020. 

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