Universal Credit claims in Peterborough slow as jobs vacancies rise

The number of people claiming Universal Credit in Peterborough has slipped as jobs vacancies across the city soar.

By Paul Grinnell
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 3:44 pm

New figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions show the number of people in Peterborough claiming Universal Credit at January 13 was 26,309 - up 101 people on the previous month when there were 26,208 claimants.

But the increase of just 0.4 per cent is one of the lowest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and comes as many companies struggle to fill their vacancies.

Over the same period, the number of Universal Credit claimants in the East of England rose by only 0.1 per cent to 462,573 people while for England the rate of increase was 0.4 per cent - up to 4,900,725 people.

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Job Centre Plus. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) SUS-200204-154906001

While the number of Universal Credit claimants, which includes claims for non-employment related benefits, is still rising, the most recent unemployment figures showed a 20 per cent drop in the number of jobless people in Peterborough over the 12 months to November last year. Julia Nix, DWP district manager, said: “The fall in unemployment in Peterborough is still happening.

“Our dedicated Work Coaches in East Anglia are working flat out to help people get back into work, as we bounce back from the pandemic.

“We want people to know we’re there for them, and that we’re working with local employers to identify and help fill their vacancies in all sectors, but especially key industries.

“The good thing is that there are jobs out there, and the latest figures show the number of online job adverts in the East of England has risen by 19.2 per cent since Covid-19.”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP said: “These figures show further positive signs of recovery, with unemployment continuing to drop and 436,000 people joining company payrolls since the start of the pandemic, a record high number of employees including more young and older workers.

“Through our Way to Work campaign we are making sure that anyone who is ready to work can get into a job faster than ever before, allowing them to progress to a fulfilling career, giving them financial independence as well as improved wellbeing.”