Changes ‘encouraging jobs hunt’

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Universal credit is encouraging more people to look for jobs, according to Government figures.

Interviews with more than 2,700 benefit claimants showed that those claiming universal credit spent about 27 hours a week seeking work, compared with 13.6 hours for those on Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), and applied for more jobs.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the credit, which was launched earlier this year to replace a number of benefits including income support, was creating a “cultural shift”.

But Citizens Advice said Ministers shouldn’t be drawing conclusions from the “very early” findings, adding that the only people to have moved on to the new benefit so far are single people with no dependants.