The graph below shows the number of referrals for sanctions and the number where the decision on the referral actually resulted in a sanction. You can look at both the number of referrals and sanctions and this number as a proportion of all JSA claims by clicking on the relevant button at the top of the graph.
In the decade to May 2010, the number of referrals for sanctions fluctuated between 40,000 and 70,000 per month. On average, there were 60,000 referrals per month, of which around 25,000 would result in an actual sanction. Numbers rose in 2009, as the total number of people claiming JSA rose in the recession. There was then a further rise between May 2010 and August 2012, to an average of 125,000 referrals per month, of which around 65,000 resulted in a sanction.
Looking at these numbers in terms of the proportion of people claiming, the average in the years to May 2010, monthly referrals amounted to 6.3% of those receiving JSA, and actual sanctions 2.7%. Since then, referrals as a proportion of claimants have risen to 8.9%, with 4.3% receiving an actual sanction. So since 2010 there has been more than a doubling in the number of sanctions applied and a 50% increase in sanctions as a proportion of all JSA claimants. However you measure it, the post- 2010 regime was much stricter than the previous one.
This interactive graph derives from an earlier blog on the topic. Read the full blog here. Unfortunately, this visualisation cannot be viewed in older versions of Internet Explorer (IE 8 and earlier). You can download a newer version here .