In our previous look at Claimant Counts, we saw that there had been a huge rise in numbers from April to May, and it looked likely that this trend would continue in June, with the number of claimants possibly topping the all-time high since records began in 1971 of 3.09 million in July 1986. However, according to the July release, the number of Claimants in June actually fell slightly by just over 28,000, from 2.66 million in May to 2.63 million in June.
Whether this is a sign of things to come, or whether it is a brief pause in the upward trend we’ve seen since March remains to be seen. Much will of course depend on how businesses respond to the winding up of the Furlough scheme, starting with their being asked to contribute a proportion to their employees’ wages, with the amount increasing as we go through the rest of the year.
To get a sense of how things have been changing since the start of the year, we have plotted the changes for every local authority area in the country on the map below, and you can see how the numbers have changed throughout the first half of the year by clicking on the play button at the bottom of the chart. In January, the number of local authorities with more than 5,000 Claimant Counts was 72 out of 398. This then rose to 142 in April, then 175 in May, but has fallen to 166 in June. You can hover over the map to find out the number of claimants throughout the period for any local authority in the country, or alternatively use the search bar to find the area you are looking for:
The biggest increases from May to June were Birmingham, Brent and Newham, which saw rises of 1,105, 1,030 and 765 respectively, whilst at the other end of the scale, Cornwall, Brighton and Hove, and Medway recorded the biggest decreases, seeing their Claimant Counts decline by 1,335, 615 and 580.
When we looked at proportionate change in the last piece, we saw that there had been a doubling of Claimant Counts in 308 areas between January and May. This can be seen by clicking play on the chart below, where you can see vast swathes of the country turning from yellow or green to red from March onwards. However, you will also notice that as the chart moves from May to June, a handful of areas move out of red to green, as the number of local authorities seeing Claimant Counts rise by 100% or more since January fell from 308 to 298:
Finally, if we take a closer look at the local authorities that have seen the biggest proportionate increases over the course of the year, we can see a most interesting development over time. Between March and April, the biggest changes were in areas that are heavily reliant on tourism, such as South Lakeland, Devon, and Craven, which is not surprising given the almost complete shutdown of the hospitality sector at that time. But as we move on into May and June, we can see a growing number of areas in the South East climbing the chart, for instance Surrey Heath, Hart and Woking:
We hope to continue our monthly analyses of Claimant Counts in a couple of weeks, with the release of the July data, where it will be interesting to see if the slight decline in June continues, or whether it was just a brief pause.
To find out more about the in-depth analysis we can offer you for your area, so that you can understand what is happening, and be better placed to respond effectively, contact us now.