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Data included: Surrey, Surrey LAs.

Latest data included: 2019-2021.

A summary which focuses on child poverty and disadvantage in Surrey can be found on Surrey-I here.


LA summaries are linked below as word documents.

In November 2021, 58,255 Surrey residents were claiming Universal Credit. The number of claimants in Surrey declined by 0.06 per cent (3,414 people) between November 2020 and 2021. However, the total number of claimants in Surrey was 22,449 in February 2020; therefore, the October 2021 claimant totals are still more than double the pre-pandemic levels.

The Job Retention Scheme, otherwise known as furlough, was introduced in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the Job Retention Scheme was in place, the numbers of persons on Universal Credit still rose due to job losses and loss of earnings. The graph below presents the duration of the Surrey residents being on Universal Credit with the darker blue shades representing longer times on Universal Credit. April to July 2020 saw an introduction of many new residents on Universal Credit, 34,646 people had been on Universal Credit for up to three months in June 2020. This graph visualises how a large number of the new starters on during the spring/summer of 2020 have continued to be on Universal Credit as they move to being in the ‘1 year and up to 2 years’ category in May 2021 to November 2021. In November 2021, 26,212 Surrey residents had been on Universal Credit for ‘1 year and up to 2 years’ and 8,664 for ‘6 months to 1 year’.

The number of Surrey residents on Universal Credit by duration length

Universal Credit has six conditionality regimes. Around one in three (30%) Universal Credit recipients in Surrey were registered as ‘searching for work’ in November 2021. This represents 9,979 men and 7,640 women. Working residents on Universal Credit made up 43 per cent of recipients (25,021). Of these working individuals, 9,128 were ‘working with requirements’, meaning they are in work but could earn more or that they are not working but have a partner with earnings.

The numbers of Surrey residents on Universal Credit by conditionality regime and sex, November 2021

The latest household Universal Credit data is from August 2021, whereby 49,671 households in Surrey claimed Universal Credit (consisting of 60,506 individual claimants). More than half of Surrey households who were on Universal Credit in August 2021 did not have children in their households - representing 27,918 households. There is a dedicated summary of child poverty and disadvantage in Surrey on Surrey-I, linked here, which goes beyond this statistic.

The number of Surrey households on Universal Credit by family type, August 2021

The Alternative Claimant Count represents the total persons claiming unemployment related benefits. This measure is the replacement of the traditional Claimant Count as it collates the number of people in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance and/or Universal Credit (under the searching for work conditionality). In August 2021, 22,127 Surrey residents were in receipt of an unemployment benefit, a 4 per cent reduction from July 2021. The total number of residents on an unemployment benefit remains, however, two times higher than the pre-pandemic level.

The Surrey Alternative Claimant Count rate in August 2021 was 2.3 per 100 persons which is lower than the South East and England rates at 3.1 and 4.0 respectively. Surrey has lower age-specific rates than the South East and England for every age category for August 2021.


Rates of Alternative Claimant Counts by age group, August 2021

However, the latest rates for Surrey Alternative Claimant Counts were double the pre-pandemic rates. The age-specific rates of Alternative Claimant Counts were higher in August 2021 than the pre-pandemic rates for every age group. The age group with the largest difference between the February 2020 and August 2021 Alternative Claimant Count rates were those aged 20 to 24 with a rate of 4.0 per 100 persons in August 2021 which is nearly three times higher than the pre-pandemic rates.

Rates of Alternative Claimant Counts by age group, January 2020 to August 2021

Jobseekers Allowance is a contribution-based benefit that normally means that recipients must have made National Insurance contributions in the two tax years before claiming. Some individuals can claim Jobseekers Allowance whilst being on Universal Credit. The graph below shows that the number of Surrey residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for up to six months increased between February 2020 and August 2020 but has been declining since November 2020. The number of claimants for up to three months in May 2021 was 853, which remains higher than the February 2020 total of 669. More residents are remaining on Jobseekers Allowance for longer; four times the number of claimants claimed for between 3 to 6 months in May 2021 at 913 compared to 201 in February 2020.

The number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants in Surrey by duration length

The number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants are higher for men and women in May 2021 than February 2020 for all age categories. The increase in the number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants in between February 2020 and May 2021 was greater for females aged 25 to 64 than males. In the latest data, women aged 25 to 44 have higher numbers of Jobseekers Allowance claimants than their male counterparts.

The number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants in Surrey by age and sex

Alternative claimant count by age - Surrey-i.xlsx  (386.14 kB)
The Alternative Claimant Count estimates those who are unemployed. This measure has replaced the Claimant Count as it also includes those on Universal Credit under the 'searching for work' regime.
Jobseekers Allowance claimants in Surrey by ethnic group - Surrey-i.xlsx  (35.58 kB)
May 2019 — May 2021
The number of claimants with missing ethnicity information has increased since May 2020 (pre-2020 it was around 5% and post-2020 it is at least 30%). Therefore, caution is needed when interpreting the more recent figures as there is a large amount of missing data.

About this dataset

Last Update
Created 5 years ago, updated 19 days ago