5 May 2014

Analysis of a Million Sanction Decisions

I was interested to find out if  individual Jobcentres varied in their sanction rates. This is not as simple as it might seem. Front line staff don't make these decisions, they refer a "doubt" to a "Decision Maker" who may be based elsewhere.

The decision might be to impose the sanction or  reject it. (They can also "cancel" it but that's more technical). However, I decided to to stick with the number of decisions (regardless of what the decisions actually were) as a measure of the propensity of front line staff to "report" claimants.

So I downloaded the data from the DWP StatExplore" tool and to further simplify things, focussed on decisions under the "new" regime from 22nd Oct 2012. There's a load of Jobcentres with zero decisions - mainly because they're closed so I took them out. I sorted the data to show the "top" offices at the top.You can download my extract of over a million sanction decisions here but for those with less time, some headlines:

"Top" performers
Bottom of the league

Some of the variation is understandable. In particular, some of those places and presumably their case-load is small. I've tried to find matching caseload statistics without success. Some data I noticed:
  • Hull is well know for having a lot of unemployment and hence the caseload will be high. So being near the top of the table may not be so remarkable.
  • Southampton with over 5000 looks high considering that according to the council they only have 4,187 unemployed.
  • Norwich has almost 5000 decisions and Norfolk County Council's unemployment figures for the whole county say In the year to December 2012, 24,000 people of working age were unemployed in Norfolk. 
I think I may have to do an FOI request for the case-load figures so I can do a proper analysis!

PS: See also a later post that resolves the caseload issue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, very interesting.

Now go for the caseloads.

SL :)