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Number of JSA sanctions by age of claimant

Key points

  • In 2014 in London, there were 82,000 JSA benefit sanctions, a decrease of more than 40,000 compared with 2013.
  • The number of sanctions received by 16 to 24-year-olds is the highest of any age group in each year, with 25 to 34-year-olds the second highest, and so on up the age range.
  • The proportion of claimants sanctioned each month also fell from 5.1% to 4.6% from 2013 to 2014.

Number of JSA sanction decisions by age of claimant

What does the graph show?

A sanction is a temporary reduction in benefit as a punishment for not complying with the conditions of receiving that benefit (such as looking for work and attending meetings at the Jobcentre). The Coalition Government oversaw a large increase in the number of sanctions applied, as well as increasing their severity from 2012 onwards.

Sanctions for Jobseeker's Allowance are by far the most common type of benefit sanction, and entail a reduction of 100% of JSA for a period of between four weeks and three years. In 2014 in London, there were 82,000 JSA benefit sanctions, a decrease of more than 40,000 compared with 2013. This fall is mostly due to there being fewer JSA claimants in 2014 than in 2013, though the proportion of claimants sanctioned each month also fell from 5.1% to 4.6%. Although lower than the total number of sanctions between 2010 and 2013, the total in 2014 is still historically quite high: it is twice as high as in 2006 and almost four times as high as the total in the early 2000s. But this rise and high level of sanctions is not unique to London; in 2014 the capital had the third lowest sanction rate of the GB regions.

More sanctions are received by younger age groups than older ones. The number of sanctions received by 16 to 24-year-olds is the highest of any age group in each year, with 25 to 34-year-olds the second highest, and so on up the age range. In a typical month in 2014 8% of 16 to 24-year-olds receiving JSA were sanctioned in London, compared with 5% for 25 to 34-year-olds, and lower again for older age groups.

Data used

Stat-Xplore, DWP.

Indicator last updated: 19 October 2015