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Fall in unemployment in Dover constituency after pandemic lockdowns


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Unemployment is returning to pre-pandemic levels and in some cases falling below them.

Figures for the Dover and Deal constituency for March 2020, when most of that month was before the first ever lockdown, show that 2,415 residents were claiming unemployment benefit.

Town centres, as here in Biggin Street, Dover, were deserted during the lockdowns, so causing economic hardship. Library picture: Sam Lennon KMG
Town centres, as here in Biggin Street, Dover, were deserted during the lockdowns, so causing economic hardship. Library picture: Sam Lennon KMG

This number rose to 4,140 in March 2021 but fell to 2,765 exactly 12 months later.

The figures from the Office of National statistics show that in March 2020, 515 people aged 18-24 were claiming unemployment benefits.

This number rose to 825 in March 2021 and 12 months later it had fallen to 455.

The area's MP Natalie Elphicke said: “It shows the impact of the Government’s decisive economic action and strong leadership during the pandemic.

“It is particularly welcome to see that youth unemployed claimants are now even lower than before the pandemic began.

Natalie Elphicke: Figures are "particularly welcome," Picture: Office of Natalie Elphicke
Natalie Elphicke: Figures are "particularly welcome," Picture: Office of Natalie Elphicke

"I am also hearing that many of the P&O workers who were so disgracefully sacked have been able to find alternative work in a very short time. In addition the creation of even more jobs at the new border facilities will be a great boost for our local economy.

“While this is all good news, I am very aware of the challenges with the cost of living, which have arisen as a result of the pandemic and made worse by the war in Ukraine.

Many local families and older people are under real pressure and I am doing all I can to see action is taken to help.”

The pandemic caused a hard economic blow as several businesses had to close to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Government stepped in to help affected businesses with grants and a furlough scheme to prevent redundancies of employees. Staff made to stop work for months were officially still employed by their bosses and paid 80% of their salaries while away.

The first ever lockdown began on March 23, 2020 and all restrictions to keep Covid-19 at bay were not completely ended until April 1 this year..

P&O Ferries caused an eruption of condemnation when it summarily dismissed exactly 786 workers, nearly 600 based in Dover, in March and replaced them with cheaper agency staff.

Employers and organisations in the community have since rallied round, offering new posts, retraining or support for those dismissed. This has included P&O's main rival in Dover, DFDS.

Because of the extra bureaucracy from Brexit a customs clearance centre and a port health checks base are being developed at Whitfield, which are expected to create a total 650 jobs,

the press relase said the youth figures fro 2022 are 18-34 - check that i not 18-24

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