Time series data for unemployment benefit in Local Insight

Explore how unemployment changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown with times series data in Local Insight. 

The Department for Work and Pensions publishes Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) every month. In turn, we update the data in Local Insight  to show the latest monthly snapshot. 

Given the dramatic changes to unemployment and the effects that it may have on your communities, we have added in the previous 3 months unemployment benefit data as individual indicators, so that you can see the month-on-month change for your areas. These datasets can be displayed on the map and downloaded for your custom areas.

Alongside the usual monthly updates for Unemployment (June 2020), we have added 3 historical time-points for the indicator Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit):

  • March 2020
  • April 2020
  • May 2020

How to view this data on Local Insight

The map

  1. Click on the Data button
  2. Search Unemployment using the search bar
  3. You will see the most recent Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) indicator for the month of June 2020 and the 3 historic timepoints listed beneath

Click on image to see full size

Download the data for all 4 timepoints for your custom areas

  1. Click on the Data button
  2. Search Unemployment using the search bar
  3. You will see the most recent Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) indicator for the month of June 2020 and the 3 historic timepoints listed beneath
  4. Select the first time point
  5. Click on the Info button
  6. Click Data for your areas (this will open up a popup with data for your custom areas)
  7. Click Download this dataset in CSV format
  8. Repeat this process for the other 3 timepoints 

Click on image to see full size

Please note in the Data for your areas popup the table of data has two columns. The first column shows the percentage figure, the second column shows the count data. When you export the data to a CSV only the percentage figure is exported. Adding the count data to the export is one of the development priorities for Local Insight in 2020 and will be coming soon. 

On the Dashboard

You can only view the latest time point for Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) on the dashboard

In the reports 

This data has not been added to the reports. The reports do however already contain a chart that shows how Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) has changed since 2004 (page 10).

Figure: Unemployment benefit (Jobseekers Allowance/Universal Credit) claimants Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Figure: Unemployment benefit (Jobseekers Allowance/Universal Credit) claimants
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Would you like to see more time series data in Local Insight?

We are looking at options to include more time series data within Local Insight. Please email support@ocsi.co.uk with any suggestions for what would be useful and to register interest in taking part in future user research on this topic. 

Removed Monthly Change in Unemployment Indicator

We have removed the indicator Monthly Change in Unemployment. The new indicators for Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) for the last four months supersede this indicator. For those groups who had it assigned to a theme, it will no longer be available. 

Further reading

If you are interested in how COVID-19 has affected employment and the economy more broadly, take a look at some of our recent analysis: 

How to upload non-numerical survey data to Local Insight

Local Insight offers a number of ways to add your own organisational data into the system. The Upload your data functionality allows you to import datasets that display on the maps in the same way as the standard datasets that we include in the tool for you.

You can use this functionality to upload some non-numerical results of surveys that you run with residents or service users with a little bit of data reformatting.

This guide will run you through the process of uploading your data in this way.

You will need to be a Group Admin to upload your own data to Local Insight.

A choropleth map displaying percentage data on current smokers

 

1. Is your data suitable for uploading in this way?

You will first need to determine whether the data you want to upload is suitable for the Upload your data tool. 

The dataset must have:

  1. Geographic data: When uploading survey data, you will most likely want to use postcodes (however, you can also upload data at OA, LSOA, MSOA or LA level).
  2. Binary data: The survey question must have only two possible responses.

Suitable:

As part of an annual residents survey, you collected respondents’ postcodes and asked ‘are you a current smoker?’

  1. In this case, you have suitable geographic data for every respondent (their postcode)
  2. The respondent can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this question, so it is suitable to upload into Local Insight.

Not suitable:

As part of an annual residents survey, you collected respondents’ postcodes and asked ‘what is your ethnic group?’

  1. In this case, you have suitable geographic data for every respondent (their postcode)
  2. The respondent could give a wide range of answers to this question and so it is not suitable to load in as the tool cannot import categorical data.

If you are unsure whether your dataset can be imported in this way, please get in touch at support@ocsi.co.uk and we can talk it through with you.

2. Set up your metadata

Go to:

  • Group Admin
  • Manage your data
  • New dataset

General guidance for setting up metadata can be found in the Help Centre.

When setting up the metadata for survey responses, take note of the following points:

  • Description: Make it clear that the data has come from survey responses. You may want to include details on the question that was asked and the sample size
  • Percentage suffix: When you import the data into the tool it will display as a percentage. Make sure you add the percentage sign to the Suffix box when asked
  • Decimal points: Depending on what you are uploading, you may want to include one or two decimal places
  • Aggregation method: You will be asked ‘how should we create data for higher areas from your uploaded data?’ You must select Averaging here
  • Suppression: If you are uploading postcode level data that is potentially sensitive, you can select a suppression threshold (Please see the Help Centre for more information on suppression).

3. Format your data

When it comes to importing your data, you can do this via uploading a CSV file or through copying and pasting values.

In each case, you will need to ensure that you have two columns of data correctly formatted in an Excel document. 

  • Geographic data: In one column, you will need a postcode (or other geographic code) in each row. 
  • Binary, numerical data: In another column, you will need your survey responses in numerical format.

4. How to turn your survey data into numerical data

Let’s go back to the earlier example of asking ‘Are you a current smoker?’ Each respondent would have answered ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

In order to import the data into Local Insight, you need to turn this into numerical data. To do this, all the respondents that answered ‘No’ should have the value of 0 and all the respondents that answered ‘Yes’ should have the value of 100.

Shows three columns in an Excel spreadsheet displaying survey data, numerical data and postcodes

Tip: You can bulk change all your responses to numerical data using the Find and Replace functionality in Excel.

  • Find all instances of ‘Yes’ and replace all with 100
  • Find all instance of ‘No’ and replace all with 0

Screenshot showing the Find and Replace all functionality in Excel

Alternatively, you could also use an IF statement to do this. This may be a better option if your survey results are denoted by single letters (eg. ‘Y’ and ‘N’) as you may end up replacing some of your postcode data using a simple ‘Find and Replace all’.

5. Import data

You can now import your data into Local Insight. At this stage, it doesn’t matter if you have more columns than you need – you will be able to filter these later.

If your spreadsheet includes formulae (eg. if you have used an IF statement), you must save the file as a CSV file, rather than Excel, before importing.

Follow the on-screen instructions to import your data. Further guidance is available in the Help Centre:

6. Add dataset to your maps and dashboard

Now that your data has been imported, you can add it to your Map and default dashboard using the Manage Indicators functionality.

The data will be displayed on your maps and dashboard as percentage figures.