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Unemployment rises by more than 300 in Kent last month

Job Centre Plus, Margate
Job Centre Plus, Margate

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

Jobs gloom continued to shroud the county as more than 300 people joined the dole queue last month.

The bad news was repeated across the county as the national out-of-work total of 2.64m – up 128,000 – reached a 17-year high.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance across Kent and Medway jumped 318 to 35,720.

In Medway, it rose by 21 to 7,139 (4.2% of the workforce). The total for the rest of Kent stood at 28,581 (3.2%), up 297.

Unemployment figures for November 2011
Unemployment figures for November 2011

The claimant count rose in nine of Kent's 12 districts, with the steepest increases in East Kent – Dover (up 118), Swale (up 65), Shepway (up 54), Ashford (up 48) and Thanet (up 44). Only Canterbury, Dartford and Tunbridge Wells bucked the upward trend.

The national unemployment rate for the three months to October soared to 8.3%, the highest since 1996.

Young people continued to bear the brunt of the jobs crisis, with the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds soaring by 54,000 to 1.03m, more than one in five of that age group.

The number of public sector workers dipped 67,000 to 5.99m, the lowest figure for eight years.

Claimant count on November 10: Kent and Medway, 35,720 (up 318); Medway, 7,139 (up 21); Rest of Kent, 28,581 (up 297); Ashford, 1,905 (up 48); Canterbury, 2,414 (down 12); Dartford, 1,879 (down 62); Dover, 2,523 (up 118); Gravesham, 2,691 (up 14); Maidstone, 2,490 (up 32); Sevenoaks, 1,304 (up one); Shepway, 2,706 (up 54); Swale, 3,381 (up 65); Thanet, 4,614 (up 44); Tonbridge and Malling, 1,531 (up eight); Tunbridge Wells, 1,143 (down 13).

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