Lowest universal credit claims rate shows recovery of Peterborough job creators
The rate of increase in the number of new applicants last month was only 0.7% – its lowest level since the pandemic began 16 months ago.
Figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that the number of claimants for the four weeks leading up to June 10 was 27,229 compared to 27,029 for the previous month.
In the first few months of the pandemic, the rate of increase reached the 25% mark, but has declined significantly in recent months.
However, the rate of change for Peterborough is still higher than that of eastern England – 0.3% at 495,967 people – and England – 0.4% at 5,193,746.
A DWP spokeswoman said: “The numbers are heading in the right direction.
“People are feeling a lot more confident and spending again and the economy is starting to open up.
“We are back to pre-Covid figures for new claims.
“It has been a battle for 16 months with a huge increase in the number of complaints. It’s nice to see the numbers go back to normal.
With the leave program set to end in September, the spokesperson said there were concerns about the uncertainty surrounding its possible impact on the number of claimants in the coming months.
But she said the biggest job for DWP staff right now is getting people back to work.
She said: “It’s a huge task, but there are a lot of vacancies about it.”
To aid the return to work, the DWP last month opened a temporary Jobcentre at Northminster House, Northminster Road, Peterborough, which itself could create up to 80 jobs.