Laura Sharman 21 April 2020

Figures show 400% monthly increase in benefit claims

Figures show 400% monthly increase in benefit claims image

New claims for Universal Credit have increased by at least 400% in the past two months, new figures have revealed.

Analysis by the Institute of Employment Studies shows 1.4 million people made a claim for Universal Credit in March, compared to the average monthly figure of 235,000 the previous year.

The Institute said the figures show that action on jobs is needed now. It is calling for a ‘Cobra on Jobs’ to bring together government, employers and civil society.

Tony Wilson, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said: ‘Today’s figures show beyond any doubt the scale of the economic shock that we’ve experienced over the last month. These increases dwarf anything that we have seen in at least the last forty years and likely in a lifetime.

’Clearly, this doesn’t mean that we should end the lockdown. But it does mean that we need action on jobs now – so that we can help those out of work to find those jobs that still exist in the economy, and to keep people close to work so that they can get back into work as quickly as possible as the lockdown eases.’

Photo: Michaelasbest /

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