Published: 09:50, 13 August 2014
Dole queues shrank once again across Kent but at a slower rate after falls of more than 1,000 for four months.
There were 743 fewer people on Jobseeker’s Allowance in July, a total of 22,151, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Shepway was the only region in Kent to see a rise in numbers joining dole queues, as the figure dropped across the county for the fifth consecutive month.
Another 34 people joined the line in the district, bringing the total to 1,691.
The biggest fall was in the unitary authority of Medway, which also has the highest total, down 130 to 4,501.
After swathes of three-figure drops in June, the only other in July was recorded in Thanet, down 124 to 3,467.
However, large falls were also seen in Swale, down 94 to 2,067, Gravesham, down 73 to 1,568, Ashford, down 63 to 1,177 and Maidstone, down 60 to 1,404.
The biggest proportional fall was seen in the area with the lowest overall number, with Tunbridge Wells down 58 to 567.
Completing the downward picture, Canterbury was down 44 to 1,302, Dartford down 41 to 1,088, Dover down 39 to 1,715, Sevenoaks down 33 to 296 and Tonbridge and Malling was down 18 to 880.
The unemployment rate in the South East for the three months to June was the lowest in the country at 4.4%, with 26,000 fewer unemployed, bringing the total to 201,000.
The region also has Britain’s highest employment rate at 76.7%, with 4.4m people in work, up 1% on the previous quarter.
“The Government’s long-term economic plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society is working – the South East has the highest employment rate in the UK at 76.7% and 115,000 more people in work compared to this time last year..." - Iain Duncan Smith
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: “In the past, many people in our society were written off and trapped in unemployment and welfare dependency.
"But through our welfare reforms, we are helping people to break that cycle and get back into work.
“The Government’s long-term economic plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society is working – the South East has the highest employment rate in the UK at 76.7% and 115,000 more people in work compared to this time last year.
“This is transformative, not only for these individuals and their families, but for society as a whole.
"That is why we have set full employment as one of our key targets – bringing security and hope to families who have lost their jobs and others who never had jobs, we put people at the heart of the plan.
“The best way to help even more people into work is to go on delivering a plan that’s creating growth and jobs.”
Nationally, unemployment fell by 132,000 to 2.08m, with the unemployment rate falling again to 6.4% on the quarter, down from 6.5%.
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