Dear Office for National Statistics,

Can you advise whether individuals that have started on the work programme are still counted as unemployed in the national unemployment statistics and as claimaints in the claimant count?

Yours faithfully,

C Norris

Paul Wearn, Office for National Statistics

Our Reference: FOI01320/Norris/QE1

Thank you for your email requesting information about whether individuals
that have started on the Work Programme are still counted as unemployed in
the national unemployment statistics and as claimants in the claimant
count. I am writing to confirm that the  Office for National Statistics
has now completed its search for the information which you requested and a
copy of the information is enclosed.

The definitions of unemployment and the claimant count are explained in an
article on the website:

If a person meets the definition of unemployment, as explained in the
article (irrespective of whether or not they are on the Work Programme),
they are included in the unemployment figures. If they don't they are not.

A person is in the claimant count if they are claiming Job Seeker's
Allowance (JSA) (irrespective of whether or not they are on the Work
Programme) and not in the claimant count if they are not claiming JSA
(again irrespective of whether or not they are on the Work Programme).
Some people on the claimant count are not unemployed as people earning
less than 16 hours a week can be eligible to claim JSA depending on their

In other words whether or not a person is on the Work Programme is not a
relevant factor in determining whether they are counted in the
unemployment or claimant count figures.

People who have entered the Work Programme from claiming JSA will normally
continue to claim JSA until they find work through the Work Programme
You have the right to have this response to your freedom of information
request reviewed internally by an internal review process and, if you
remain unhappy with the decision, by the Information Commissioner. If you
would like to have the decision reviewed please write to Dennis Roberts,
Office for National Statistics, Room 1214, Government Buildings, Cardiff
Road, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8XG.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Paul Wearn LLB (Hons)
Legal Services
Office for National Statistics

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Dear Paul Wearn,

Thank you for your reply and taking the time to direct me to your website. I have read the information again and think I now understand. However, just to be clear, can you clarify that when claimants start on work programme it does not class as training and therefore they would be deemed 'economically inactive' and would not count on the unemployed statistics? As they continue to recieve JSA they must still be on the claimant count?

Yours sincerely,

C Norris

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