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Unemployment Kent: More young people on out-of-work benefits in September

By Chris Price

Unemployment remained static across Kent last month but there was a surge in young people on out-of-work benefits.

There were 25 less people claiming either jobseeker’s allowance or universal credit across the county in September, taking the total to 18,965, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However, the number of claimants aged 16 to 24 increased by 70 to 4,280.

Fewer people are on the dole in Kent
Fewer people are on the dole in Kent

This compares with an unchanged unemployment total across the South East, where 158,000 people were out of work from June to August, the same figure as March to May but statistically counted as a fall of 1,000.

The region’s employment rate of 79.2% is the highest in the UK while its unemployment rate of 3.3% is the nation’s lowest.

There were 4.59 million people in work across the area, up 22,000.

In Kent, there was a surge in the number of people on unemployment benefits in Dover, where its total increased by 70 to 1,700.

The number of people on unemployment benefits in Kent has remained static since July
The number of people on unemployment benefits in Kent has remained static since July

The area is undergoing the controversial full roll-out of universal credit, the all-encompassing benefit which is paid to many people who are still in work.

However, the scheme has been criticised in recent weeks amid accusation it is increasing poverty, with MPs debating the issue in Parliament today.

Nationally, unemployment fell by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million.

The jobless rate remains unchanged at 4.3%, still its lowest level since 1975.

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