Unemployment falls in June for the first time in almost two years


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The number of people claiming benefits in Kent has decreased for the first time in nearly two years.

Unemployment has been rising month on month since August 2018, charting 22-months in a row with an increase.

In a surprising turn unemployment figures have actually fallen in the last month
In a surprising turn unemployment figures have actually fallen in the last month

But according to government figures June saw a small decrease of 4.4% across the county, with 69,185 people receiving financial support from the government.

This figure is 3,190 fewer than the 72,375 who were counted as benefit claimants in May.

The sharpest decrease in claimants throughout the districts authorities was Maidstone, with 290 fewer people claiming compared to last month.

Whereas Gravesham saw the smallest decrease, with just 100 fewer people receiving government support in June.

Medway's figure dropped from 12,325 in May to 11,745 in June, a decrease of 580.

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The county's unemployment drop is slightly more substantial than the the national picture, which has seen a 1.4% decrease across England and Wales.

June's overall count stands at 2,347,830 people across the two countries.

The drop in unemployment may seem surprising to some, as the figures arrive in the midst of the the coronavirus pandemic which has caused substantial economic impact.

In the past two weeks organisations such as Holiday Extra, Saga and security firm G4S have announced plans to cut jobs, as businesses attempt to navigate huge revenue losses caused by lockdown.

But the decrease also marks a relaxing of lockdown restrictions, as non-essential businesses were allowed to open once again across the country.

April and May saw drastic increases in claimants compared to the previous months, as businesses reacted to the fast-moving economic environment.

Despite the small decrease in claimants, economists are warning unemployment figures could spiral in the coming months, suggesting nearly one in seven people in the UK might be unemployed by the end of this year if a second wave of the pandemic hits the country.

To read more about the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in May, click here.

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