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New unemployment data for December 2017

29 January 2018

Unemployment figures (Claimant Count, Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)) for December 2017 were released on Wednesday 24 January 2018 by the Department of Works and Pensions, and are now available in profiles, tables and maps. Figures shown use the 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 December 2017 was 5,740 or 2% of 16-64 year old population (England 1.9%). This represents an increase of +160 on the previous month, and an increase of +360 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 (1.0%), with Calderdale the highest (2.8%).

Youth unemployment (18-24) stood at 1,200 or 3.0% of the population aged 18-24 (England 2.6%), -25 lower than last month and -65 lower than the same time last year. However, the claimant count underestimates youth unemployment as not everyone is entitled to benefit or chooses to claim. From the Annual Population Survey it is estimated that the number of young people unemployed in West Yorkshire is around three times higher than the claimant count.

Over the period April 2016 to March 2017, 1,094 decisions to apply a sanction or claim disallowed ('adverse') were taken by Kirklees Jobcentres, an average of 92 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 10,200 or 4.8% of those aged 16 and over and economically active (England 4.5%). However, confidence intervals reveal that the true number unemployed for Kirklees could lie between 7,900 and 12,500 (3.7% to 5.9), 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 2016 and September 2017 is statistically significantly lower than October 2012 and September 2013.

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