Working well Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Benefit claimants JSNA

Around 4,000 people, or 2.9 per cent of the population in Rochdale borough are currently claiming either Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit (Office for National Statistics claimant count, 2018).

Universal Credit and the main out-of-work benefits

The main out-of-work benefits include Jobseekers Allowance, employment and support allowance which includes incapacity benefit, lone parent allowance and other income related benefits. However, the 2012 Welfare Reform Act aimed to deliver £18 billion savings from the welfare budget by combining many of these separate benefits into one monthly payment (Universal Credit). These reforms will have a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable residents.

The impacts of unemployment on health

Being out of work is generally bad for health. Poor health can be a cause of losing employment and also a huge barrier to gaining employment. Unemployment is associated with an increased risk of ill health and mortality. There are relationships between unemployment and poor mental health, suicide, self-reported ill health and limiting long term illness as well as a higher prevalence of risky health behaviours including alcohol use and smoking among unemployed people (Public Health England, 2017).

Links between unemployment and poor mental health may be explained by some of the impacts of unemployment: stigma, isolation and loss of self-worth. People with long term psychiatric problems are less likely to be in employment than those with long-term physical disabilities, despite indications that most people with severe mental illness would like to work.

Statistics on benefit claimants

  • Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Wider determinants of health profile - this profile features information on the wider or social determinants of health including data on employment and the labour market.
  • Nomis - Labour market statistics - the Office for National Statistics publishes labour market statistics through the Nomis website and the annual population survey contains data on unemployment and economic inactivity. There are also other datasets showing claimant counts of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit, and other Department for Work and Pensions benefits.
  • Nomis - Local authority profile - these profiles are available for Rochdale and include some of the data from the key datasets on population, employment, unemployment, qualifications, earnings, benefit claimants and businesses.
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Stat-Xplore - stat-Xplore provides a guided way to explore DWP benefit statistics, currently holding data relating to 16 different benefits and programmes.

Guidance and information on benefit claimants