Claimant Count Briefing May 2020 – Sheffield labour market data

The Claimant Count data series counts the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance plus those who claim Universal Credit and are required to seek work and be available for work. It is the headline indicator of the number of people claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed.  

Claimant Count data for May 2020 was released on 16 June 2020; the impact of Covid 19 on the local and national economies is stark.

The Sheffield Claimant Count for May 2020 was 22,990; this included 4,460 young people aged 18-24, 13,365 people aged 25-49 and 4,880 people aged 50 and over.  These figures are more than double the totals for February 2020 when the impact of Covid 19 started to become apparent.

The Claimant Count rate (the % of residents claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed) has also increased in a similar manner from an average 2.9% in February to an average of 5.9% in May.  The highest Claimant Count rate is amongst 25-49 year olds, but the greatest rate of increase in recent months has been amongst people aged 18-24.

The growth in Claimant Count rates in Sheffield has been similar to that in the City Region, albeit with a slightly lesser rate of increase than the country (England) as a whole.

Having remained largely constant for the previous year, the Claimant Count began rising rapidly in Sheffield, the City Region and the Country from February 2020 onwards.

Over the past 3 months the Claimant Count has risen by 117% nationally, by 101% in the City Region and by 102% in Sheffield, the largest economy in the sub-region.