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Claimant Count


The Claimant Count is a measure of the number of people claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed. It is based on administrative data from the benefits system. Although not an official measure of unemployment it does provide a timely indication of unemployment.

The chart above plots claimant count data for Somerset, the South West and the UK. The figures relate to the proportion of claimants aged 16-64. Click to slide 2 to view a chart comparing lower-tier local authority areas in Somerset over the same period. Right click on either chart to select and view the underlying data in table form.

About the data

The claimant count has risen substantially across all Somerset districts over the last year. As of March 2021, the claimant count in Somerset was 15,680, an increase of 15% since April 2020. The claimant count in Somerset in March 2020 was 2.3%, rising to 4.8% in March 2021. The claimant count in March 2021 for the South West was higher, at 5.1%, and higher still for the UK, at 6.5%.

At the lower-tier local authority area in Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton had the lowest claimant rate of 4.5% in March 2021, followed by South Somerset at 4.6%, Sedgemoor at 5.2% and Mendip 5.3%.

Please Note:

The Claimant Count is based on monthly extracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administrative systems, and headline figures are published in the monthly UK labour market release. Therefore, the figures presented here may not be the most current. Current data can always be found on the Nomis website.

The ONS has noted that the measure of people receiving Universal Credit is still being developed by the Department for Work and Pensions. Consequently, this component of the total Claimant Count does not yet correctly reflect the target population of unemployed claimants and is subject to revisions. For this reason, the Claimant Count is currently designated as Experimental Statistics.

Source: ONS, NOMIS, Claimant Count By Sex and Age- (March 2021), Population Estimates (2019)