March 2010 benefit fact sheets are out.
Unemployment benefit 60,211
Sickness benefit 55,796
Invalid's benefit 84,877
Over the year to March unemployment benefit is up 62 percent ; DPB up 7 percent; sickness benefit up 9 percent; invalid benefit up 1 percent.
Over the quarter to March while the DPB also rose (+354) the unemployment (-6117), sickness (-3362) and invalid (-161) benefits fell.
Earlier in the month the Minister said;
1,110 sole parents also cancelled their DPB and went into paid work.
But more joined up to the DPB than left.
The quarterly fall in sickness beneficiaries is good but I am not sure what it means. Perhaps the December quarter had featured a temporary surge in short term recipients explaining why 2009 saw the biggest calendar year SB increase ever recorded.
The quarterly fall in the unemployment benefit is also obviously good but I still believe much of it represents a transfer to student allowances. There are still no 2010 statistics available for those.