Download unemployment trend data for your custom areas

In Local Insight, you can explore how unemployment has evolved over the past year for all your custom areas. You can download this trend data for any area using the dashboard. This article provides a step-by-step of how to do that. 


The unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) indicator, often referred to as the ‘claimant count’, is published at LSOA level every month by The Department of Work and Pensions. In turn, Local Insight is updated to include the latest monthly snapshot. 

Since March 2020, rather than overwriting the previous timepoint, we have been adding each monthly snapshot as a new indicator. As a result, you can look at the month on month changes from March 2020 up to the latest published data (March 2021 at the time of writing this article).

Youth unemployment

You can also view the monthly data for youth unemployment (aged 18-24). This indicator shows the proportion of people aged 18-24 receiving Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit for those who are out of work (in the ‘searching for work’ conditionality group) aged 18-24 (as a % of all 18-24 year olds).

Use the dashboard to download the month on month data for your custom areas

Follow these steps to build a dashboard displaying the individual unemployment claimant count datasets for each month for your areas. 

  1. Open the Dashboard tab 
  2. Use the Areas button to select the areas you would like to display
  3. Click on the Data button and select build a custom dashboard 
  4. In the search bar type Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal Credit) or Youth unemployment (18-24 receiving JSA or Universal Credit)
  5. On the right hand side it will now display all the different timepoints
  6. Select the timepoints in the order in which you want them to display 
  7. Click Done

Once you have created your dashboard, you can either view it on Local Insight or export it to Excel. 

You can also copy and paste the dashboard into Excel and keep the colour scale

Create a chart in Excel to show how the data has changed over time

Once you have exported the raw data from the Dashboard, you can then import it into other data visualisation tools such as Power Bi or create charts and graphs directly in Excel.

Round up decimals

Firstly, you may want to round up decimals. You can use the shortcut option here on the Home tab under the ‘Number’ section circled below. These two options allow you to either increase/decrease the decimal places displayed. 

Line chart for time-series data

To visualise the data, a line chart is the most effective way to display changes over time. You can create a line chart in Excel to show the Unemployment time-series data for each of your areas.

Creating a line chart

  • Select the cells from your dashboard export that you want to include in the chart (it is best to do this for a small number of areas/comparators as the chart will look crowded otherwise).
  • Go to the Insert tab and locate the options for Charts, click on Recommended Charts, this will bring up the charts Excel recommends as appropriate, in this case, it’s a line chart which is the most effective way to display time-series data. Click OK to create the chart.

  • You can format the chart however you like by selecting the chart and bringing up the Formatting sidebar – use this to give the chart a title, change the colour, axes display, and much more.
  • You can paste the chart into a document as an image, copy the chart and paste, and on paste options, there is an option for ‘Picture’ that pastes it as an image.

Please note, currently when you export the Dashboard the national comparator data is not in the CSV. To add it in, you can copy and paste it directly from the dashboard. 


When exporting data from Local Insight to use in other reports we would always recommend taking the metadata too. Metadata is contextual information about the dataset covering; the methodology, the time period the data relates to, the update frequency and the publisher. 

To see the metadata for a dataset on the Dashboard click on the dataset name. 

View the unemployment trend data on the map

You can view each monthly snapshot of the unemployment data on the map.

  1. Navigate to the map page
  2. Click on the Data button
  3. Search Unemployment using the search bar
  4. You will see the most recent Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit) indicator for the month of March 2021 and the 11 historic timepoints listed beneath

View the count data alongside the percentage figures 

When you view a dataset on the map you can see the count data within the data for more areas popup. To view and download the count data you can do the following: 

  1. Click on the Data button on the map page 
  2. Locate the indicator you are after by searching Unemployment benefit (JSA and Universal credit)
  3. Select to view the dataset on the map
  4. Click on the Info button in the top right corner
  5. Click on the Data for your areas button 
  6. Click Download this dataset in CSV format

This will open up a data table containing all the percentage data in the first column and the count data in the second column. 


In the reports you can see how the data has changed over a much longer time period (2004 to 2021) in charts (page 10).

Local unemployment data is useful for…

The unemployment benefit data gives the most comprehensive figures at a local level of those that are currently unemployed. You can explore the raw LSOA data from The Department of Work and Pensions but in Local Insight you can see the data aggregated for any area that you create in the tool.  

Read more about different measures of unemployment and how the data should and shouldn’t be used. 

Want more time-series data in Local Insight?

We are looking at options to include more time-series data within Local Insight. Please email with any suggestions.