Universal Credit claims have doubled during lockdown


Universal Credit claims have doubled during lockdown to about 2.6 million, according to the ONS*.

Massive increase in Universal Credit claims since March.

A total of 2.6 million of us are currently claiming Universal Credit.  This is an increase of 112% since March.

This chart from the ONS shows the recent massive increase in benefit claims;

ONS Universal Credit chart unemployment

So what does this all mean?

We can see that UK Benefit claims have doubled during the lockdown period.  We can claim Universal Credit for either unemployment or low pay.  So not all of the recent claims will be related to unemployment.  The ONS have said they do not know how many of the recent claims are due to unemployment.

However, the ONS have said that the number of workers on payrolls has dropped by about 650,000 since March.  According to the ONS;

“Early indicators for June 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down around 650,000 compared with March 2020. The largest falls were seen at the start of the pandemic and while the number of payroll employees is still falling the decline is slowing.”

We have covered recent unemployment figures this week.

The Claimant Count numbers for June have shown a small drop of about 28,000.  This has had very little impact on the overall figures, however it might show the increase in Universal Credit claims is slowing down or beginning to be reversed.


Want to learn more?  See the ONS Press Release


*The ONS are the Office National Statistics.  They are the official UK agency for economic data.