UK jobless rate falls to 7.7%
The number of people claiming jobseekers allowance in Kent has dipped below 25,000, representing a drop of 4,300 year-on-year.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that a total of 24,928 people in the county were claiming JSA in August. The figures would appear to bear out claims that the economic prospects for the region are continuing to improve.
Separate data shows that the county’s unemployment rate stands at 7.3% - below the national rate of 7.7% but higher than the rate for the South East region, which is 5.8%.
However, there remains a distinct east-west split in the county. Thanet remains the county’s jobless blackspot, with an unemployment rate of 12.5% and 4,462 on jobseekers allowance.
It is followed by Dover, where the unemployment rate is 8.6% and 2,108 are on JSA, then Shepway, where the unemployment rate is 7.7% and 2,304 are on JSA. In contrast, west Kent remains the more economically buoyant part of the county, with Tunbridge Wells having an unemployment rate of 4% and the fewest number of claimants (818), followed by Sevenoaks (967) and Tonbridge and Malling (1,290).
A total of 53,000 of those aged 16 and above in Kent were out of work.
Nationally, the UK's unemployment rate fell to 7.7% for the first time since the tail end of last year amid improving signs for the UK labour market.
The ONS said the rate dropped in the three months to July from 7.8% as the number of people out of work fell by 24,000 to 2.487 million. That was the lowest jobless rate since September-November last year.
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said that interest rates are unlikely to be raised before the rate falls to 7%.
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