MAP: The north-south divide in travel assistance for jobseekers

Jobseekers in the south east received a disproportionate amount of assistance in travelling to job interviews, according to data visualised by Carl Plant.

Carl mapped the data gathered by Chie Elliott and Oli Conner in previous posts on this site, colouring regions based on the discrepancy between the percentage of Jobseekers Allowance claimants in that region and the percentage of Travel to Interview Scheme money spent in the same region.

It provides a more immediate visualisation of the data published previously.

While the South East (not including London) accounted for 9.3% of JSA claimants, for example, it also took almost 20% of Travel to Interview spending – more than double the amount that would be expected.

Scotland, however, with 9.9% of claimants, spent only 7.4% of Travel to Interview funding and Wales, with 5% of claimants, spent only 3.7% of Travel to Interview funding.

Not shown on the map is London, which accounts for 15.5% of jobseekers but only 6.3% of Travel to Interview spending.

The information missing, of course, is how much of the variation is due to the nature of employment opportunities in those areas, and how much to other factors such as awareness.

London jobseekers living within range of a high concentration of businesses, for example, are perhaps less likely to need assistance with travel costs. But what about rural communities in Wales? Or the variety presented by Scotland, which combines both high and low population concentrations?

Can you suggest other datasets that might make this clearer? Help us investigate.

3 thoughts on “MAP: The north-south divide in travel assistance for jobseekers”

  1. Travel to interview scheme.

    I Have been unemployed since August 2014. I am regularly getting interviews. Until 2 weeks ago i was able to claim travel expenses to interviews. That has jnot been stiopped because expenses have been capped at £100 FOR THE LENGTH OF MY CLAIM. seeing how I live in Stoke-on-Trent and NONE of the local companies want me I ham having to cast my net upto 1 1/2 hour commute. this roughly works out at around £20 in diesel, as often the companies I am applying for are not in town centres or accessible easily by public transport, and in any case are much further away than the 1 1/2 hour travelling distance by public transport that was specified by my job advisor and part of my jsa agreement. based on £74 a week jsa the cost of getting to an interview takes a massive slice, so do i not go to the interview and face being sanctioned (and more importantly not have the change to get of JSA) or go to the interview and not eat. Simple choice.

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