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Dole queues shrink by more than 1,000 for second consecutive month in Kent - by 1,389 to 25,911 in April

By Chris Price

Dole queues in Kent shrank by more than 1,000 people for the second consecutive month in April.

There were 25,911 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the county, a fall of 1,389.

The areas with the two largest number of claimants saw the largest falls, with Medway’s total dropping 267 to 5,080 and Thanet’s falling 206 to 3,949.

Fewer people are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in the county
Fewer people are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in the county

It is the first time Thanet’s total has dipped below 4,000 in three years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Three-figure falls were also seen in Canterbury, down 136 to 1,632, Shepway, down 136 to 1,859, Swale, down 128 to 2,478, and Maidstone, down 117 to 1,685.

Indeed, every local authority recorded a fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Significant drops were felt in Dover, down 79 to 2,083, and Gravesham, down 74 to 1,910.

Ashford had 56 fewer people on the dole, a total of 1,401, with Tonbridge and Malling down 53 to 1,032.

Even areas with low areas of unemployment recorded big falls in claimants in April, with Sevenoaks seeing 48 people find work, leaving its total at 821.

Tunbridge Wells – which has Kent’s shortest dole queues – saw its total fall 45 to 713.

The smallest fall was in Dartford, down 44 to 1,268.

Across the South East, the unemployment rate was 5% in the three months to March, a dip of 0.1%.

The region had the UK’s lowest claimant count rate at 1.9%.

Nationally the number of people out of work fell by 133,000 to a five year low of 2.2m.
It puts the unemployment rate at 6.8%.

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