Collection

Universal Credit statistics

Official experimental Universal Credit statistics and how the department will manage the release of further statistics.

Contents

  1. Documents

Universal Credit is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income.

In April 2013, DWP, with our delivery partners in HMRC and local authorities, introduced Universal Credit for claimants within certain areas of the north-west of England. We are introducing Universal Credit in a managed way, progressively rolling it out nationally from October 2013.

The last new claims to legacy benefits will be accepted during 2017. Following this, those on the remaining legacy claims will progressively decline, and the Department will migrate the remaining claims to Universal Credit. We expect the bulk of this exercise will be complete by 2019.

Read our Universal Credit policy information

Latest release

We published the experimental statistics for Universal Credit areas for the period 29 April 2013 to 12 March 2015 on 18 March 2015.

The statistics cover total live caseload, starts and claims to Universal Credit, with breakdowns by:

  • Jobcentre Plus office
  • Jobcentre Plus district
  • local authority
  • parliamentary constituency
  • gender
  • age
  • duration
  • employment

View statistics on the Universal Credit caseload and starters at Jobcentre Plus office level in an interactive map

Next release: 17 April 2015

All Universal Credit statistics release dates

Statistics main findings

The details of people who started on Universal Credit are that:

  • between April 2013 and 12 March 2015, a total of 73,580 people have made a claim for Universal Credit
  • between 29 April 2013 and 12 February 2015, a total of 45,630 people have started Universal Credit
  • the majority of starters to Universal Credit were males, 70%, and around 50% were under 25 years old
  • provisional caseload figures show that on 12 February 2015, a total of 40,100 people were on Universal Credit – of these, 12,200 (30%) were in employment and 27,900 (or 70%) were not in employment

Release strategy

We have published official statistics on the national roll out of Universal Credit following guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority. These make sure that the published statistics achieve a satisfactory balance between timeliness and data quality.

Future releases of Universal Credit statistics have been aligned with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Statistics (LMS) release dates to provide a coherent picture of the labour market to be presented at the same time. These dates have been pre-announced for the whole of 2015.

DWP will only release statistics and management information on Universal Credit that are part of its publication strategy. This is designed to ensure that statistics are placed into the public domain in a clear and controlled way.

National data from the new IT systems for Universal Credit

The data source for Universal Credit will eventually allow a wide range of breakdowns to be published. These will become available gradually as the IT system is introduced. As the plans for the IT system are not yet finalised, it is not possible to give a definitive list of what statistics we can provide. Examples of the kind of statistics that we aim to produce are:

  • individual characteristics (for example age, gender, ethnicity, geography – including small area geography such as output area)
  • some assessment unit level information where appropriate (for example number of adults, number of dependent children, total payment)
  • labour market (for example employment status)
  • claim information (for example start dates, end dates, duration)
  • housing
  • health (for example Work Capability Assessment details, condition)
  • entitlement (for example appeals, entitlement breakdowns, benefit cap status)

Universal Credit and the Claimant Count

Universal Credit will affect the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Claimant Count but the current impact is expected to be small. We have begun to supply ONS with information on the number of Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed which ONS are using to produce an indicative representation of the claimant count adjusting for Universal Credit caseload. In the longer term, ONS will receive a direct feed from the Universal Credit IT system to supplement the existing direct feed from the JSA IT system.

Research and evaluation

In December 2012, we published an evaluation framework setting out our broad intentions for the evaluation of Universal Credit. Universal Credit evaluation forms part of a continuous programme of analysis to support policy development and continuous learning. In broad terms, evaluation is exploring:

  • implementation
  • attitudes and behaviours
  • impacts and impact measurement
  • testing and experimentation
  • cost-benefit analysis

The scale of Universal Credit demands a wide-ranging evaluation using a number of different approaches over the lifetime of the policy. This will include on-going monitoring, ‘live running reviews’ of implementation through to longer term analysis of the outcomes and impacts for different groups of claimants. We published our approach to evaluating the labour market impact of Universal Credit in July 2014.

We will publish research in line with Government Social Research protocols. So far, we’ve published:

Further information

If you have any views on the type of Universal Credit statistics you would like to see, please get in touch with us at: Stats-consultation@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Or please visit the Welfare and Benefit Statistics community on the Royal Statistical Society StatsUserNet