The impending introduction of the Government's cap on benefits is already driving claimants to find jobs, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said.
Eight months before the limit on the amount households can claim comes into force, Mr Duncan Smith said that what was described as "operational data" showed 1,700 people who "might" have been affected had now found work.
Another 5,000 were said to have indicated they would like to receive support to get back into employment.
"These figures show the benefit cap is already a success and is actively encouraging people back to work," Mr Duncan Smith said in a statement.
"They also show that Labour's criticism of the cap was nothing but needless scaremongering and opposition for opposition's sake.
"It's sheer madness that people on benefits can be getting as much as a higher rate taxpayer earns.
"We need a welfare state that acts as a safety net and encourages people back to work, not traps them in out-of-work dependency."