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Number of unemployment claims made in Kent dip in March


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There's been a slight drop in the number of people making unemployment claims, latest statistics reveal.

In March, 55 fewer people in Kent and Medway claimed out-of-work benefits than in February – a decrease from 69,675 to 69,620.

Claims drop by 55 in March
Claims drop by 55 in March

Five areas in the county saw a rise in claims – Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Swale and Tunbridge Wells.

Medway had the highest rise last month, with an extra 210 in March, bringing the total up to 12,235 - the highest in the county.

There was no change in Dartford but there was a drop in the remaining seven areas of Kent.

Thanet residents made 120 fewer claims bringing the total down to 7,975, which was closely followed by Folkestone and Hythe which had just 4,800 claims - a decline of 110.

A closer look at the statistics revealed young people and women have been hit the hardest by unemployment.

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Across Kent, 80 fewer men signed on whereas claims among women rose by 25.

While 25 to 49-years-olds saw a drop in claims of 30 and over-50s a drop of 95, 16 to 24-year-olds saw claims increase by 65.

However, this is only a slight change in the number of unemployment claims overall. In February, claims rose by 3,435 but in March the number dropped by 55.

This is all part of the fluctuation in claims which has continued since unemployment more than doubled just after the first lockdown began a year ago.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, unemployment claims in Kent have risen by 112% from 32,910 to 69,620.

Peacocks saved from administration
Peacocks saved from administration

But there is a glimmer of hope as lockdown easing has allowed several firms to create new jobs.

Salad making company Bakkavor recently announced 150 new jobs will be available at its site in Dover and the Ashford council-led leisure complex Elwick Place will be offering 30 jobs as businesses reopen over the next few weeks.

High street fashion chain Peacocks has recently been saved from going into administration, saving the jobs of workers at the Thanet, Dartford, Medway, Tonbridge, Sittingbourne, Maidstone, Dover, Ashford and Sheerness outlets.

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