HC Deb 26 January 1988 vol 126 cc159-60W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his reply of 10 December,Official Report, column 230, in which offices the additional 90 staff in support of adjudication officers have been located; what is the number of adjudication officers in each unemployment benefit office; what is the number of new unemployment benefit claims at each office in the last financial year; and what is the current number of unemployment benefit claimants at each office.

Mr. Lee

Adjudication officers are not attached to individual unemployment benefit offices. They work in groups which cover a number of offices. The additional 90 support posts were allocated in the two years to August 1987, on the basis of regional assessments of need. Since the creation of the employment service, adjudication officers have been reorganised into new regional groups and the additional 90 posts cannot be specifically identified.

The number of adjudication officers and their support staff in post on 21 January 1988 in each employment service region was as follows:

Employment Service Region Adjudication Officers Support Staff
Northern 32 20
Yorkshire and Humberside 50 44
East Midlands 48 42
London and South-East 133 91
South-West 53 43
Wales 34 21
West Midlands 51 37
North-West 72 62
Scotland 51 40
Total 524 400

Regional statistics on new claims to unemployment benefit are collected by the Department of Health and Social Security. These could only be disaggregated by local benefit office at disproportionate cost. The regional totals are as follows:

DHSS Region New Claims to Unemployment Benefit 1986–87
South-East 1,495,823
East Anglia 166,936
South-West 399,868
West Midlands 458,209
East Midlands 331,212
Yorkshire and Humberside 500,444
North-West 670,064
Northern 347,324
Wales 277,672
Scotland 613,181
Total 5,260,733

DHSS and Employment Service regions are not conterminous. Details of the number of people claiming unemployment benefit at each office are also collected by DHSS and published in "Unemployment Benefit Statistics— Quarterly Analysis of Unemployment Claimants" a copy of which is in the Library.