Universal claimant numbers go up again in all but one borough

The number of people claiming Universal Credit has gone up again in all but one borough across Greater Manchester.

The amount of people claiming the all in one benefit has been steadily rising throughout the pandemic.

While the rate of increase has recently massively slowed – huge rises in claimant numbers were seen in the early months of the first lockdown in 2020 – lots of new people are still signing on with 2,456 new claimants seen across the city-region in just one month.

(Image: ABNM Photography)

The only borough that didn’t see an increase in claimant numbers is Stockport, which saw its numbers slightly fall.

Between June and July, the number of claimants across the north west rose by 5,311 people from 749,902 to 755,213.

Over the same time period – the number of claimants across Greater Manchester’s boroughs increased by the following amounts.

In Bolton, the number of claimants rose from 32,340 to 32,665.

For Bury, it went from 17,920 to 18,082.

Manchester saw the highest number of new claimants across the city region with 602 people signing up between June and July. Overall, those claiming the all-in-one benefit rose from 78,508 to 79,110.

Oldham saw the second highest number of new claimants, their figure rose from 33,890 to 34,223 with 333 new people signing on to Universal Credit.

The number of people claiming in Rochdale went from 27,464 to 27,765.

In Salford, it went from 32,076 to 32,317.

Stockport saw an decrease from 21,623 claimants to 21,598.

In Tameside, the number of people claiming in June stood at 26,526 – by July that had risen to 26,621.

The Jobcentre plus on King Street in Wigan
(Image: ABNM Photography)

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Trafford saw the smallest increase, but an increase just the same, from 26,282 claiming in June to 26,477 a month later.

For Wigan, the number of people claiming Universal Credit rose from 31,655 to 31,857.

While the number of claimants has risen in nine of the ten boroughs, it’s not necessarily an indication of unemployment levels – most claimants are currently employed and use Universal Credit to ‘top-up’ their income.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “There are positive signs of recovery in today’s jobs figures with the number of young people and older workers on payrolls up on the quarter and the employment rate increasing to 75.1pc.

“There is still work to do and we’re focused on helping employers fill roles through our Plan for Jobs – giving people of all ages the skills, support and experience needed to confidently land that next opportunity.”

Minister for Welfare Delivery Will Quince said: “Universal Credit continues to support people across the country. We’ve hired 13,500 new work coaches to offer claimants individual tailored support, and our Plan for Jobs is helping them into the sectors that are recruiting.

(Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

“Anyone who thinks they may be eligible to benefit should head to the Understanding Universal Credit website to find out more.”

Across the UK, the number of people claiming in May 2021 was 2.33 million – 11pc fewer than in May 2020.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, new claims numbers are returning to pre-covid levels: the average monthly number of new sign ons during the financial year ending 2020 was around 200,000 compared to 215,000 in May 2021.

Manchester Evening News – Oldham