Out-of-work benefits

Proportion of Londoners aged 16-64 receiving out-of-work benefits by benefit type (2013 - 2021) (Q2)

The proportion of working-age Londoners on out-of-work benefits fell between 2013 and 2018 with a modest increase in 2019. 2020 and 2021 however has seen a large increase in Universal Credit claimants (out of work) compared to 2019 (3.3% to 9.2% and 10.6% of people aged 16-64). This, at least partly, likely reflects employment status changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The types of benefits claimed by those out of work has also changed in recent years, as Universal Credit has rolled out across the capital. For example, 0.4% of working-age Londoners were out of work and claiming Universal Credit in 2016. By May 2019, this proportion had risen to 3.3% of the working-age population and just over a year after the pandemic began (May 2021) 10.6% of those out of work were claiming Universal Credit. 

Compared to London, the proportion of the working-age population on out-of-work benefits was higher in the rest of England between 2013 and 2019, however in the latest quarter for May 2021 the proportion of working age Londoners on out of work benefits is now slightly higher than in the rest of England (14.7% and 13.8% respectively). This change was first noted towards the beginning of the pandemic, in May 2020.