Unemployment figures in Kent and Medway for April show figures creeping up but still below national jobless average

Unemployment across Kent and Medway is continuing to creep up – as national figures reveal the number of people now in work is ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

In the latest adjusted figures from the Office for National Statistics for April, those out of work totalled 39,040. That’s up 630 on the month before.

Figures are creeping up across the county – but we remain below the national jobless average
Figures are creeping up across the county – but we remain below the national jobless average

With modest increases in the majority of districts, only Dover, Folkestone & Hythe and Swale saw a slight dip.

Once again, the area with the highest proportion of people out of work in the county is Thanet at 5.8%. It is followed by Gravesham (4.4%), Folkestone & Hythe (4%) and Dover (3.9%).

Unsurprisingly, the west Kent districts of Sevenoaks (2.1%), Tonbridge & Malling (2.2%) and Tunbridge Wells (2.3%) remains the lowest.

Nationally, the figures take a snap shot of the three months from February to April. It reveals the unemployment rate has decreased to an average of 3.8% of the population – despite expectations it was set to rise. Kent’s figures for April show unemployment countywide is below the national average of 3.4%.

The ONS said the employment rate rose to 76% in the latest quarter, edging up from 75.9% in the previous three months, with the number of people in jobs at an all-time high of 33.1 million, up 250,000 quarter on quarter as more Britons returned to the jobs market.

It comes amid a continuing period of economic instability. Inflation remains high which has prompted the Bank of England to hike interest rates in a bid to put a squeeze on spending.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: “With another rise in employment, the number of people in work overall has gone past its pre-pandemic level for the first time, setting a new record high, as have total hours worked.

“The biggest driver in recent jobs growth, meanwhile, is health and social care, followed by hospitality.

“While there has been another drop in the number of people neither working nor looking for work, which is now falling right across the age range, those outside the jobs market due to long-term sickness continues to rise, to a new record.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says the nation is heading in the right direction
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says the nation is heading in the right direction

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “The number of people in work has reached a record high, and the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and OECD [Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation] recently credited our major reforms at the Budget which will help even more back into work while growing the economy.

“But rising prices are continuing to eat into people’s pay cheques – so we must stick to our plan to halve inflation this year to boost living standards.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More