Published: 09:45, 17 May 2017
| Updated: 09:47, 17 May 2017
About 50 people left the dole queue in Kent last month.
The number of people on unemployment benefits in the county fell to 19,535 in April, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However the figure is a 1,285 increase on the same time last year.
More people are claiming in the county because of the rollout of the government’s new universal credit benefit, which includes some people who have been found work.
Nationally there were 1.54 million unemployed people from January to March, down 53,000.
However, the South East bucked the trend, with the number of people out of work growing by 6,000 to 163,000 – although this is down 11,000 on the same time last year.
The South East’s unemployment rate of 3.5% is the lowest in the UK for the three months to the end of March.
The national unemployment rate of 4.6% is the lowest since 1975.
Across Kent, the largest rise was in Thanet, up 45 to 2,970, closely followed by Tunbridge Wells, up 40 to 645.
The Tunbridge Wells figure may have been affected by ICA Group in Paddock Wood, which ceased trading with the loss of 74 jobs in March.
Shepway had the largest reduction in its claimant count, down 55 to 1,425. Maidstone was down 25 to 1,315.
People aged 25 to 49 left the dole queue in the largest numbers, down 85 to 9,870, but the number of over 50s on unemployment benefits increased by 50 to 5,195.
There were 12,160 men on universal credit or jobseeker’s allowance in Kent in April, compared to 7,375 women.
Across the South East there were 4.53 million people in employment, up 8,000, from January to March.
Across the South East there were 4.53 million people in employment, up 8,000.
Nationally there were 31.95 million people in work, 122,000 more than for October to December.
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