updated: 21 October 2013
The Pathfinder for Universal Credit started on 29 April 2013 with the introduction of this new benefit in one Jobcentre Plus office (Ashton under Lyne) This was followed by Wigan on 1 July 2013 and Warrington and Oldham on 29 July 2013. The roll out of Universal Credit will continue from late October 2013 in selected Jobcentres. Universal Credit will replace a number of means-tested benefits including the means-tested element of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). It will not replace contributory based JSA.
The Claimant Count measures the number of people claiming benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed. Since October 1996 it has been a count of the number of people claiming JSA. Following a consultation in 2012 by ONS, it was agreed that, with the introduction of Universal Credit, the Claimant Count would include:
The Claimant Count figures from May 2013 do not include claimants of Universal Credit. The absence of Universal Credit claimants is expected to have a small effect on the Claimant Count from May onwards. This assessment reflects the small scale of the Pathfinder which initially only includes some of the new claims in the affected offices.
ONS is working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to include jobseeker Universal Credit claims in the Claimant Count statistics as soon as possible. Universal Credit information will be collated and quality assured by DWP statisticians to ensure that they meet the necessary quality standards before being passed to ONS for inclusion in the Claimant Count estimates.
Some of the areas partially affected by the geographic coverage of the Pathfinder exercise as at October 2013 are:
|Region:||E12000002 North West|
|Local Authority: County/Unitary:||E11000001 Greater Manchester|
|Local Authority: Local/Unitary:||E08000008 Tameside |
|Parliamentary Constituencies 2010:||E14000537 Ashton-under-Lyne |
E14000661 Denton and Reddish
E14000967 Stalybridge & Hyde E14000537 Chorley
E14000962 St Helens North
E14001033 West Lancashire
E14001037 Altrincham and Sale
E14001017 Warrington North
E14001018 Warrington South
E14001024 Weaver Vale
E14000870 Oldham East and Saddleworth
E14000871 Oldham West and Royton