Analysis of Department for Work and Pensions figures by the JPIMedia Data Unit reveals the number of people claiming Universal Credit in England has risen by 118% in the past year – despite efforts to protect jobs through the government furlough scheme.
In January 2020, there were 2.4 million people claiming Universal Credit, but provisional figures for January 2021 show this had risen to 5.2 million.
The Universal Credit benefit is available to low earners as well as those out of work, so some people on furlough could be receiving wage top-ups.
Across England, those aged 20 to 24 have been the worst affected by the pandemic.
Claimants in this age group were also most likely to be completely out of work or earning very little – those required to undertake an intensive search for work or a better paid job.
Here’s how different age groups across the country have been impacted by the Covid pandemic.