We’ve been tracking the rise in Claimant Counts for the past several months, and have noted the huge rise since the beginning of the year right across the country, albeit the rate of increase since June’s figures has been significantly less than the huge rises in April and May. In the latest figures, we again see a month-on-month rise, from 2.75 million in August, to 2.78 million in September. This takes the overall rise in claimants to 1.53 million since the start of the year, equating to 122.4%.
Across the country, the most noticeable trend in terms of absolute numbers is that much of the rise in claimants has been in London. For instance, Newham saw an increase of 960 from August to September, whilst Brent, Haringey, Southwark, Ealing, Croydon, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Enfield, Hounslow, Lewisham, Waltham Forest and Hackney all saw their numbers rise by more than 600.
At the other end of the spectrum, there have been areas which have seen a reduction in their claimant numbers in the past month. Cornwall, for instance, had 835 fewer claimants in September than in August, whilst North Lanarkshire, Highland and Blackpool all saw their numbers fall by over 300.
In terms of percentage change, again there has not been a huge shift since August, albeit the number of Local Authorities that have seen their claimant numbers more than double since the start of the year has fallen slightly, from 315 out of 398 Local Authorities in August to 303 in September. Nonetheless, the big increases in some of those London boroughs mentioned above has served to see the overall Claimant Count across the country rise, from 120.68% since the start of the year in August, to 122.40% in September:
Finally, looking at those Local Authorities that have seen the biggest percentage increase since January, there is again little change over the past month, but there are a few interesting movements. South Lakeland, which was third on the list back in May, having seen a dramatic rise of 294% since the start of the year, has fallen out of the Top 20 and now has 450 fewer claimants than back then, whilst Spelthorne in Surrey, and Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, have both climbed onto the list, having seen their claimant numbers rise by 255% and 250% respectively since January. Overall, the Top 20 is now dominated almost exclusively by Local Authorities in the South East, and in particular the London commuter belt.
The next release, looking at October Claimant Counts, may begin to give us some indication of the impact of the winding down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough). Look out for our analysis shortly after the scheduled release data of 10th November.
If you’d like to find out how we can help you understand the impact of the crisis on your area, contact us now.