Number of Universal Credit claimants in Wakefield doubles during Covid-19 pandemic

The number of people in Wakefield claiming Universal Credit has more than doubled since the start of the year, it has been revealed.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 1:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 1:27 pm

In figures released today, it was revealed that 4,275 people in the Wakefield constituency are now claiming support from the government, up from 1,985 in January.

The number of claimants has also risen sharply in the district's other constituencies, with more than 15,600 people now seeking support.

It comes as the Office for National Statistics reveals that the number of people in work in the UK decreased by 220,000 in the last quarter,

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The number of people seeking Universal Credit has risen by 1.5 million in the last 12 months, and now stands at almost 2.7 million, or around 6.4 per cent of the population.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: "The groups of people most affected are younger workers, 24 and under, or older workers and those in more routine or less skilled jobs.

"This is concerning, as it's harder for these groups to find a new job or get into a job as easily as other workers."

Experts have warned that unemployment is expected to worsen in the coming months, as many firms prepare for redundancies in the wake of the pandemic.

The claimant count in each Wakefield constituency is as follows:


January 2020 - 1,755 people/2.9 per cent

July 2020 - 3,750 people/6.2 per cent

Morley and Outwood

January 2020 - 1,160 people/1.8 per cent

July 2020 - 2,985 people/4.8 per cent

Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford

January 2020 - 2,485 people/3.4 per cent

July 2020 - 4,640 people/6.5 per cent


January 2020 - 1,985 people/3.2 per cent

July 2020 - 4,275 people/6.8 per cent