Tag Archives: jobseekers

Useful links to Sept 27: Hurt from the cuts; Loan policy supports unwise lending

JSA claimants vs.Travel for Interview – the chart

In our previous post, Oliver Conner analysed the number of jobseekers claiming JSA against the amount of Travel for Interview Scheme (TIS) money awarded in 2010/2011.

The JSA claimants’ figures are from 2010 (source: ONS) and the TIS data (source: DWP in a response to an FOI request) covers April 2010 to around August 2011. Of course we are comparing two different types of numbers: amounts of money and total numbers of jobseekers. But if you take the relative national value of those figures, it gives us a good idea of the regional differences.

I have created a chart using Oliver’s figures to facilitate visualisation. Continue reading

JSA claimants vs Travel for Interview Scheme: can you map this data?

Joining in our investigation on the demise of the Travel for Interview Scheme (TIS) this week, Oliver Conner researched the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants around the country and compared those figures against the amount of TIS being paid out by region.

His analysis reveals some interesting stats: the South East has been awarded the most amount of TIS by far, whereas the highest numbers of JSA claimants are concentrated in London.

Below is a breakdown of the figures. Oliver obtained this data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using a tool called Nomis.

Can you map this data, perhaps comparing it to poverty stats in the country? What is the co-relation between wealth, number of JSA claimants and the amount of money JobCentres spent on Travel for Interview for jobseekers? Anyone up for the challenge? Get in touch.

Region JSA Claimants(Source: ONS Nov 2010) % of total TIS Paid (2010/2011) % of total Discrepancy
East 97,790 7.56% £142,739.00 9.50% -1.94%
East Mids 88,420 6.83% £113,216.00 7.54% -0.70%
London 200,640 15.50% £95,115.00 6.33% 9.17%
North East 74,780 5.78% £87,027.00 5.79% -0.01%
North West 164,720 12.73% £211,048.00 14.05% -1.32%
Scotland 127,440 9.85% £111,827.00 7.44% 2.41%
South East 120,880 9.34% £297,968.00 19.83% -10.49%
South West 75,000 5.80% £105,835.00 7.04% -1.25%
Wales 65,150 5.03% £55,559.00 3.70% 1.34%
West Mids 144,930 11.20% £156,750.00 10.43% 0.77%
Yorks & Humb 134,290 10.38% £212,490.00 14.14% -3.76%
1,294,040 £1,589,574.00

TIS investigation kick-off: an FOI request to the DWP

To kick of the investigation about funds allocated to the Travel for Interview (TIS) scheme, I searched the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) website for any publicly available information.

Some government departments, such as the Department of Health, offer helpful guidance on how to contact them for enquiries, including a customer service telephone number, but searching for information on the Department of Work and Pensions site can be more like a needle-in-a-haystack case.

My search finally led me to the What We Spend page, which published data, in CSV format, on DWP’s payments over £25,000. The data is broken down by month, starting from April 2010, the first month of the 2010/2011 tax year. A PDF of explanatory notes on the monthly payment spreadsheets is also available.

I downloaded some of the spreadsheets to check their content, filtered the data to show only “TIS” (travel for interview) under Expense Type and was delighted to discover that, this way, I could easily obtain the total monthly sums JobCentres spent on TIS.  But I also realised that data alone would not help me draw many useful conclusions as to which parts of the country had the highest number of jobseekers dependent on the scheme to travel to interviews.

Did a breakdown by region exist of TIS funds allocated to JobCentres round the country? In order to create those spreadsheets on their website, the DWP must have originally had more location-specific figures from JobCentres, which had then been collated into the monthly reports.

I used the email address published at the bottom of the list of spreadsheets to ask them the question. The information turned out to be available only under a Freedom of Information request, so I sent it out as one.

Below is the response to my FOI request from the DWP’s communications team:

DWP’s response to FOI re Regional Breakdown of spend on Travel to Interview Scheme 2010/2011

I will now be working on analysing the regional breakdown of TIS funds provided by the DWP, while I research what data maps are available on poverty/deprivation or unemployment rates in the UK. My idea is that we can link those with the TIS figures we now have. Results will be published in a future post, so watch this space.

You are welcome to join the investigation at any stage and contribute in any way you like. Perhaps you are interested in data and knows how to use data visualisation tools? Maybe you’re good with spreadsheets and would like to help clean data. Or you are a skilled web detective and would like to suggest links that could speed up our research?

Please Help Me Investigate. Get in touch.

UPDATE ON OCT. 12, 2011:  I have moved the information on the new Flexible Support Fund (FSF) to a separate post, so that we can investigate it in more detail.