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Women make up more than 65% benefits claims in the latest unemployment rise in September

More than twice the number of women than men went on unemployment benefits last month in Kent , according to recent ONS figures.

Overall, unemployment rose again in September as 665 more people claimed unemployment benefits - bringing the county total to 72,080.

More people claiming out of work benefits in September
More people claiming out of work benefits in September

However, this rise seems to be part of a fluctuating but mostly flat unemployment rate after the huge spike between March and May.

The areas seeing the largest rise this month were Tonbridge and Malling with 150 more claims and Gravesham with 100 more claims.

Medway remains the area with the most unemployment claims with 12,295 in the unitary authority. Thanet has the second highest with 8,660 claims.

Only two out of 13 areas in Kent saw a decrease in unemployment, as Ashford and Tunbridge Wells saw their claims drop by 15.

Despite making up just over two fifths of the workforce, women made up 450 of the 665 claims in September, while men made up only 215.

Nationally unemployment has surged to a three-year high.

This news comes as All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers - which also owns Harvester and Toby Carvery - announce they have started redundancy consultations with staff.


The move comes after a slump in customers attending venues following the introduction of the 10pm curfew and restrictions on services.

Mitchells & Butlers runs around 1,700 restaurants, pubs and bars across the UK and employs around 44,000 people. The number of people who will lose their jobs has not yet been announced.

A spokesman said: “Our industry is operating in exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances.

“While we have worked incredibly hard to makes sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe, we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, new enforced closures and tapering Government support that doesn’t go far enough.

“With trading restrictions and uncertainty likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we strongly urge the Government to step up the level of support it is offering to an industry which has been repeatedly singled out and taken the full brunt of restrictions.”

There are a number of reasons why claims go up or down and the Office of National Statistics, says the slow introduction of Universal Credit – the new benefits system which rolls all payments into one – has had an impact on numbers.

A spokesman said: "Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under jobseeker's allowance.

"As full service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the claimant count is therefore likely to rise."

To read more about August's unemployment figures, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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