As nationwide unemployment topped two million for the first time in 12 years, more than 4,700 joined the dole queues in Kent and Medway.
As recession decimated the labour market, the number of people signing up for Jobseekers Allowance across the county jumped by 4,753, one of the steepest monthly rises in years.
This pushed up the countywide jobless total to 32,694.
In Medway, an extra 859 people signed on as the Towns’ unemployment figure soared to 6,360, or four per cent of the workforce.
Across the rest of Kent, the jobless total jumped by 3,894 to 26,334 (3.2 per cent).
Every part of the county suffered steep rises, with Maidstone and Swale sharing the doubtful honour of seeing unemployment rise by more than 400 in just a month.
The pain was shared across the county, with traditionally prosperous West Kent, which has enjoyed low unemployment for many years, hit as hard as East Kent.
In Sevenoaks, the total went up by 266, in Tunbridge Wells by 232,, with Tonbridge and Malling badly hit with a rise of 337.
Ashford, Dartford, Canterbury, Gravesham and Thanet all posted increases of more than 300, while Dover and Shepway fared a little better with rises of just over 200.
Nationally, the monthly claimant count rose by 138,400 to 1.39m, while the quarterly unemployment rate went beyond the critically sensitive two million mark to reach 2.03m, or 6.5 per cent of the workforce.