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Using benefits data to study employment trends in London


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Deven Ghelani, Director and Founder of Policy in Practice, delivered this presentation at the ERSA Employment Support London meeting on 22 February 2018.

In it he answers three questions employment related questions using findings from recent analysis on low income Londoners carried out by Policy in Practice, funded by Trust for London.

The questions were:
1. What are the biggest barriers to work in London?
2. What impact are welfare reforms having on employment outcomes?
3. Self employment is a popular choice in London; how will Universal Credit impact this group?

For more information about Policy in Practice's work please email

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Using benefits data to study employment trends in London

  1. 1. Deven Ghelani Policy in Practice Using benefits data to study employment trends in London
  2. 2. We work with Work and Health primes, and other support providers across the UK to deliver benefit, budgeting and support in a single system We were founded to make the welfare system simple for people to understand About Policy in Practice
  3. 3. Tracking low income households across London
  4. 4. The benefits of our approach
  5. 5. Three employment related questions … 1. What are the biggest barriers to work in London? 2. What impact are welfare reforms having on employment outcomes? 3. Self-employment is a popular choice in London, how is Universal Credit going to impact this group?
  6. 6. Disability is the biggest barrier Number of households initially not in work Percentage of households who moved into work Total 243,865 8.2% Single 148,367 (60.8%) 4.5% Couple 10,086 (4.1%) 6.0% Lone parent 67,662 (27.7%) 13.8% Couple with children 17,750 (7.3%) 18.9% Carer 9,334 (3.8%) 3.6% Lone parent 67,662 (27.7%) 13.6% Disabled 99,580 (40.8%) 1.5% No barriers 67,289 (27.6%) 13.1% Income Support 42,966 (17.6%) 6.3% Employment Support 94,645 (38.8%) 1.6% Job Seeker Allowance 37,226 (15.3%) 16.6% Not in receipt of out-of-work benefit 37,096 (15.2%) 19.6% Unknown 31,932 (13.1%) 7.1% Household composition Barriers to work Type of out-of-work benefit • Families with children are most likely to move into work • Disabled households show lowest likelihood • Only 1.5% of workless households with disability moved into work between Jan 2016 and Jan 2017 • Households not claiming an out-of- work benefit more likely to move into work than households claiming Jobseekers Allowance
  7. 7. 888 The impact of the benefit cap on employment outcomes
  8. 8. 8,828 households currently affected • Average reduction in their housing benefit is £60.07 per week • 61.7% are lone parents • 12.7% are in work • Importance of benchmarking and co- ordinating activities at regional/city levels
  9. 9. Since February: -23% in caseload
  10. 10. We can track the effectiveness of your support
  11. 11. Benefit cap gets people into work Sampling technique: 1. Treatment group: all households with income from benefit above the £23,000 threshold as of April 2016. 2. Control group: all households with income from benefit close to the benefit cap threshold. • Exempted households excluded from the cohort Analysis: • Comparing differences in the employment outcomes across the two groups in the months before and after the lowering of the cap • Households subject to the benefit cap showed a 3.5% higher rate of movement into employment than families in the control group
  12. 12. 131313 The impact of Universal Credit on self- employed household
  13. 13. 10% of working age households on low income are self-employed Average % change in earnings ↑ 7.9% ↑ 4.3% Self-employed average earnings £672.47 vs £840.79 of other households in employment
  14. 14. Self-employment & UC: Minimum Income Floor • An assumed level of earnings for self- employed people with the conditionality rules applied • If actual self-employed earnings fall below this, UC calculated assuming this amount is being earned • Applies after 12 months of self-employment Borough UC roll out Southwark Applicable H&F Applicable Enfield Applicable Tower Hamlets Applicable Sutton Applicable Croydon Applicable Lambeth Dec-17 B&D Mar-18 Ealing Mar-18 Waltham Forest May-18 Barnet May-18 Islington Jun-18 Harrow Jul-18 Haringey Oct-18 Hackney Oct-18 Greenwich Oct-18 Brent Nov-18 K&C Dec-18 Camden Dec-18
  15. 15. Will people move onto gainful employment, or choose not to work at all? £2,233 • Self-employed among the worst affected group as UC rollout • Those not affected are in the grace period • Awareness is key! • Solutions are possible! 71% of self-employed people are £340 per month worse off under UC
  16. 16. Use of administrative data is essential for designing and delivering effective social policies Tracking households over time allows us to track the effectiveness of interventions It allows us to answer a different set of questions. Ask a different set of questions…
  17. 17. 181818 This analysis can help identify households eligible for Work and Health support programmes This data can be used to quickly and objectively track the effectiveness of your interventions across London
  18. 18. Join our webinar Support disabled job seekers on their journey into work Wed 21 March at 10:30 to 11:30 Learn how frontline advisors are helping disabled job seekers understand benefit changes as Universal Credit changes roll out. With guest speaker, Marise Mackie, Pluss. More details and register here
  19. 19. 202020 We’re supporting London councils and Work and Health primes in the delivery of their programmes How can we help you? Deven Ghelani 07863 560677 0330 088 9242