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Labour Market - Datasets - Claimant Count

Claimant Count Unemployment

The claimant count is measured by the JobCentre Plus administrative system. It measures the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits. Since October 1996 this has been the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. It does not include people claiming other benefits.

Note that the claimant count is not the official measure of unemployment. Unemployment is measured according to an internationally agreed definiton, using data from the Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey. Some people who are unemployed are uneligible or do not claim Jobseekers Allowance. Therefore, in the UK, the claimant count is lower than the unemployment level.

More information on how the claimant count and unemployment compare can be found on the ONS website.

Details on how to access data from the Labour Force Survey can be found in the Headline Labour Market Data section.

The latest claimant count data for local authorities, parliamentary constituencies and data zones are available from Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (http://www.sns.gov.uk/).

The quickest way to view data for a single local authority is to use the Theme Report function. 

  • Click on Standard Reporter on the SNS homepage (http://www.sns.gov.uk)
  • Click on Theme Report
  • Choose Labour Market (Local Area Profile) from the first dropdown menu
  • Choose Local Authority from the second dropdown menu
  • Choose your area from the third dropdown menu
  • Choose Latest Data for the most recent data point only or choose Time Series for the last thirteen data points. Note that because local area claimant count data are not seasonally adjusted comparisons should be made over the year i.e. July 2011 vs. July 2010 or August 2010 vs August 2006.

Further disaggregations and longer time series are available via the Advanced Query function on Nomis (http://www.nomisweb.co.uk/).

If you are unable to find the data you require, please email the Labour Market Statistics Branch (labour-market.statistics@scotland.gsi.gov.uk) for assistance.