Published: 09:46, 15 July 2021
| Updated: 15:55, 15 July 2021
The latest details for June, released today by the Office for National Statistics, reveal the number of people claiming benefits fell by 3,685 across Kent - a dip of almost 6% on May.
It represents around 5.8% of the working population (16-64) are claiming benefits. The figure peaked, this year, in February but, it is now dropping down, month-on-month.
During the month, every district saw hundreds stop claiming as more businesses started opening up and restrictions eased.
It comes as a recent survey revealed the majority of firms in the county planned to recruit over the coming 12 months - despite concerns of a skills shortage to fill those gaps.
In June 2020, the figures for Kent stood at 69,185.
Thanet has the highest rate of those making claims in the county with 8.8% of those of working age applying for Universal Credit. However, it saw 325 come off benefits during the last month.
The largest number of claims continues to be made in Medway where 10,900 needed support in June - down 525 on the previous month. That represents 6.2% of 16-64-year-olds.
As ever, there remains a clear divide between the east and west of the county, with the lowest rates in Sevenoaks (2,410 claims, down 220) which is 3.4% of its working population. That figure now stands at 3.5% in Tonbridge & Malling (down 220 to 2,820) and 3.6% in Tunbridge Wells (down 230 to 2,590).
By way of comparison, in Ashford the rate is 5% (down 265 to 3,900) while Folkestone and Hythe is at 6.2% (down 305 to 4,050).
In Gravesham the rate is a 6.6% making claims - down 225 to 4,310.
Nationally, over the last quarter, the unemployment rate has dropped as Covid restrictions are eased.
Between March and May the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.8%, while the employment rate was up 0.1 percentage point at 74.8%.
Britain saw a record 356,000 increase in the number of workers on payrolls last month and vacancies soared as the economy recovered.