Research and analysis

Evaluating the impact of Universal Credit on the labour market

A research report examining the impact of Universal Credit (UC) on the labour market in live service and the North West expansion.


Evaluating the labour market impacts of Universal Credit: a feasibility study


This report outlines the approach the department will use to evaluate the impact that the early phases of Universal Credit (UC) will have on the labour market. It was commissioned following the decision to roll-out UC gradually across the North West providing opportunities for a robust evaluation.

We plan to publish our evaluation plans at the same time as the following 2 related research reports:

  • a feasibility study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) to explore the scope for evaluating UC under a hypothetical roll-out schedule
  • a peer review by IFS of our evaluation proposals

This report builds on IFS’s detailed technical feasibility study, which was based on a hypothetical scenario for the introduction of UC. It also examines the issues involved in producing a robust evaluation. The IFS report made a number of recommendations for evaluation which we have taken on board.

A copy of IFS’s peer review of an earlier draft of our plans is included as an annex to the main paper. We updated our plans to reflect the peer review.

Published 22 July 2014