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New unemployment data for February 2017

16 March 2017

Unemployment figures (Claimant Count, Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)) for February 2017 were released on Wednesday 15 March 2017 by the Department of Works and Pensions, and are now available in profiles, tables and maps. Figures shown use the new headline 'Claimant Count' indicator introduced in October 2015, which counts the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance plus those who claim Universal Credit who are out of work.


The unemployment total for Kirklees in February 2017 was 5,905 or 2.2% of 16-64 year old population (England 1.9%). This represents an increase of +245 on the previous month, and an increase of +160 claimants on the same time last year. The number unemployed January 2008 to date peaked in February 2013 (13,440). In the Leeds City Region York has the lowest unemployment (0.7%), with Bradford the highest (2.8%).

Youth unemployment (18-24) stood at 1,350 or 3.4% of the population aged 18-24 (England 2.7%), +85 higher than last month and +25 higher than the same time last year. Over the period July 2015 to June 2016, 1,942 decisions to apply a sanction or claim disallowed ('adverse') were taken by Kirklees Jobcentres, an average of 162 per month (Source:

There are two ways of measuring unemployment. The alternative method to the claimant count is the Annual Population Survey which is less accurate, but counts people who are not eligible for benefit that are out of work and actively seeking work. In Kirklees the latest model-based unemployment figure was 11,900 or 5.8% of those aged 16 and over and economically active (England 5.0%). However, confidence intervals reveal that the true number unemployed for Kirklees could lie between 9,800 and 14,000 (4.9% to 6.9%), so this helps to show why this measure is not often quoted; nevertheless the trend has been downwards, and the latest figure for people surveyed between October 2015 and September 2016 is statistically significantly lower than October 2012-September 2012.

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