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Unemployment Kent: Claimants rise for seventh straight month

By Chris Price

The number of people on unemployment benefits in Kent has increased for the seventh straight month.

There were 22,410 claimants of either jobseeker's allowance or universal credit in April, a rise of 590, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However, it was generally a month of falls across most of Kent's districts with massive rises in three boroughs keeping the county's claimant count moving upwards.

More people are claiming unemployment benefits in Kent
More people are claiming unemployment benefits in Kent

Thanet recorded an increase of 440, the largest in the county, taking its total to 4,195.

This district has the highest number of claimants in Kent, having overtaken Medway in February.

It adopted full universal credit in July last year, which pays many people who are still in work.

Dover, which introduced the full version of the benefit in May last year, registered jump of 205 taking its total to 2,380.

The number of people on unemployment benefits in Kent has risen for seven consecutive months
The number of people on unemployment benefits in Kent has risen for seven consecutive months

Swale reported an increase of 200 to 2,475, having brought in universal credit in December.

There were modest falls across the rest of Kent, where districts are yet to adopt or have only just begun using full universal credit.

Across the South East, the number of people out of work increased by 13,000 to 163,000 in the three months to March.

The region's unemployment rate was 3.4%, up from 3.1% between October and December.

Nationally unemployment fell by 46,000 to 1.42 million between January and March.

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