This research is the first national study dedicated to examining the psychological health and wellbeing of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants.
The main component of the study was a two-wave telephone survey with a sample of around 2,000 people who began a JSA claim in the first quarter of 2011. Wave one fieldwork was conducted between March and May 2011 with respondents followed up for a second interview about four months later. An assessment of common mental disorders was carried out at both waves using a structured interview tool. In addition, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with a small number of participants who had symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression during wave one survey interviews. Qualitative fieldwork was conducted in June and July 2011.
The study was designed to inform policy on supporting unemployed people with different levels of psychological health to access services, seek jobs and return to work.
In the first quarter of 2011, 357,000 people flowed onto JSA in Great Britain.