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Unemployment Kent: Coastal areas worst effected by rises in out-of-work benefit claimants

By Chris Price

Coastal communities saw a surge in people on unemployment benefits in Kent last month as summer work came to an end.

The total number of people on either jobseeker’s allowance or universal credit increased by 95 across the county to 19,075 in October, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This was caused by surges in seaside towns, with Thanet registering a jump of 100 to 2,895, its largest since January 2016.

Every district in Kent recorded rises in those on unemployment benefits
Every district in Kent recorded rises in those on unemployment benefits

Dover, where the full version of universal credit is being rolled out, which pays benefits to some people in work, registered the county’s second biggest rise, up 65 to 1,770.

The only other increases came in Shepway, up 40 to 1,360, and Swale, up 35 to 2,010.

Those significant rises offset a picture of modest falls across the rest of Kent.

The largest decline was in Gravesham, down 40 to 1,330.

Across the South East, unemployment remains static at 153,000 for the three months to September.

Unemployment benefit claimants in Kent are on the rise
Unemployment benefit claimants in Kent are on the rise

Employment stood at 4.62 million, up 43,000.

The South East had the lowest unemployment rate in the UK at 3.2% and the highest employment rate at 79.7%.

Nationally there were 1.42 million people out of work between July and September, down 59,000.

The unemployment rate was 4.3%, the joint lowest since 1975.

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