Jobseekers allowance claimant statistics give cause for concern in Birmingham

Four of Birmingham’s parliamentary constituencies are listed amongst the five worst in the UK in terms of the proportion of the resident working-age population claiming Jobseekers allowance, according to figures for December 2008 released by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The constituencies are Birmingham Ladywood (9.9% up 1% year-on-year), Birmingham Hodge Hill (8.3% up 1.5%), Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath (8.1% up 0.9%), and Birmingham Erdington (7.4% up 1.8%).

The only constituency listed in the worst five not in Birmingham was Liverpool Walton, with a Jobseekers claimant rate of 7.4%. Wolverhampton South East was listed as having the sixth worst claimant rate of the 660 parliamentary constituencies at 7% (up 1.7%).

The BBC recession tracker provides a map of the UK illustrating these statistics, in which Birmingham can easily be seen as a Jobseekers allowance claimant ‘hot spot’.

Download the full list of statistics for all constituencies (XLS, 86kb).

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2 Responses

  1. The West Midlands has been spectacularly failed by its Labour MPs. Every single seat in the region has slipped down the rankings since 1997.

  2. It is important to place these figures into context: Claimants of Jobseekers Allowance represent a minority of out-of-work benefit claimants; furthermore, a large proportion of workless people do not claim benefits. Birmingham’s high proportion of jobseekers allowance claimants indicates that more of its workless population are actively seeking work than is the case elsewhere, and are therefore closer to the labour market. In many other areas rates of incapacity benefits are higher, representing a longer-term problem.

    As part of our programme of research on Economic Inclusion, the Observatory will soon publish a baseline report for the region which will examine these issues in depth.

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