Unemployment falls everywhere but Medway

Jobcentre plus sign
Jobcentre plus sign

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

Unemployment has jumped in Medway by more than 100 but dipped across the rest of the county.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Kent and Medway fell by 48 to 33,803, according to the Office for National Statistics.

But the good news for some was eclipsed by disappointing figures from Medway where the dole queue lengthened by 110 to 6.764 (four per cent).

Across the rest of Kent, the jobless tally fell by 158 to 27,039 (3.1 per cent). It was a mixed picture, with falling unemployment in seven council areas but a rise in the remaining five. Dover was the pick of the seven, with a drop of 114, followed by Maidstone (down 57) and Swale (down 49). The biggest risers were Thanet (up 42) and Canterbury (up 32).

Nationally, quarterly unemployment fell by 36,000 to 2.46 million (7.7 per cent). The claimant count edged up by 12,400 to 1.47 million.

Steven Kirkpatrick of Adecco, the recruitment firm with an outlet in Dartford, said the number of advertised vacancies was decreasing in many sectors, showing continued caution amongst employers who are "still unable or unwilling to create new permanent positions in an unstable climate."

Public sector employment fell by 45,000 to 6.2 million, while private sector jobs rose by 83,000 to 22.96 million. The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 20 per cent, with 935,000 young people out of work, down 30,000 from the previous quarter.

The number of people unemployed for more than 12 months rose by 20,00 to 850,000, the highest figure for 14 years.

Claimant count on April 14: Kent and Medway, 33,803 (down 48); Medway, 6,764 (up 110); Rest of Kent, 27,039 (down 158); Ashford, 1,912 (up 16); Canterbury, 2,305 (up 32); Dartford, 1,991 (up 17); Dover, 2,227 (down 114); Gravesham, 2,591 (up 17); Maidstone, 2,267 (down 57); Sevenoaks, 1,250 (down 13); Shepway, 2,464 (down eight); Swale, 3,132 (down 49); Thanet, 4,382 (up 42); Tonbridge and Malling, 1,414 (down four); Tunbridge Wells (down 37).

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