Universal Credit benefit in Leeds: These are the age groups whose jobs have been hardest hit by coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the UK economy, with unemployment rising to a five-year high in the three months to December.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:46 pm
Job Centre Plus on Park Place, Leeds.

Analysis of Department for Work and Pensions figures by the JPIMedia Data Unit reveals the number of people claiming Universal Credit in Leeds has risen by 134 per cent in the past year – despite efforts to protect jobs through the government furlough scheme. In January 2020, there were 31,675 people in the city claiming, but provisional figures for January 2021 show that had risen to 74,038 just a year later. 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, with a rise of 132 per cent. People in this age group were also most likely to be completely out of work or earning very little. In Leeds, the largest rise was also among the same age group. Those aged over 65 have been excluded from the analysis. Here’s how different age groups in Leeds have been impacted:

Those aged 20-24 have been the worst affected, with a 154 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 4,404 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 11,205 in January 2021.
Second worst affected are 50-54s, with a 143 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 2,170 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 5,270 in January 2021.

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Third worst affected are 60-65s, with a 139 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 1,367 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 3,265 in January 2021. photo: PA Wire
Fourth worst affected are 45-49s, with a 137 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 2,631 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 6,229 in January 2021.
Fifth worst affected are 40-44s, with a 135 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 3,214 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 7,557 in January 2021. photo: Shutterstock
Sixth are 35-39s, with a 134 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 4,143 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 9,687 in January 2021.
Next are 55-59s, with a 130 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 1,710 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 3,933 in January 2021.
30-34s are eighth, with a 127 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 5,221 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 11,839 in January 2021.
Next are 25-29ss, with a 125 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 5,241 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 11,774 in January 2021.
Least affected are 16-19s, with a 96 per cent increase in claimants. In this age bracket, there were 1,562 claimants in Leeds in January 2020 and 3,064 in January 2021. Universal Credit is normally only available to those aged 18 or over, but 16 and 17 year olds can apply in some circumstances.