These are the age groups in Bedford where Universal Credit claimants have increased the most

The number of people claiming Universal Credit in the town has risen by 95 per cent in the past year

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:11 pm
The number of people claiming Universal Credit in Bedford has risen by 95 per cent in the past year

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.

Analysis of Department for Work and Pensions figures by the JPIMedia Data Unit reveals the number of people claiming Universal Credit in Bedford has risen by 95 per cent in the past year – despite efforts to protect jobs through the government furlough scheme.

In January 2020, there were 8,871 people claiming, but provisional figures for January 2021 show that had risen to 17,263.

There has been a 116% increase in claimants aged 40 to 44 in the year.

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 Bedford, the largest rise was also among 40-44 age group. Those aged over 65 have been excluded from the analysis.

Here’s how different age groups in Bedford have been impacted.

There has been a 115% increase in claimants aged 20 to 24 in the year.
There has been a 108% increase in claimants aged 55 to 59 in the year.
There has been a 90% increase in claimants aged 45 to 49 in the year.
There has been a 89% increase in claimants aged 30 to 34 in the year.
There has been a 88% increase in claimants aged 50 to 54 in the year.
There has been a 88% increase in claimants aged 35 to 39 in the year.
There has been a 84% increase in claimants aged 25 to 29 in the year.
There has been a 82% increase in claimants aged 60 to 65 in the year.
There has been a 77% increase in claimants aged 16 to 19 in the year. Universal Credit is normally only available to those aged 18 or over, but 16 and 17 year olds can apply in some circumstances.