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Sixteen people fight for each vacancy in Medway

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Medway has one of the highest rates in the region of unemployed people fighting for every job, figures reveal.

Each vacancy in the Towns is being chased by more than 16 jobseekers - making the area among the most competitive in the South East to find work.

There are 6,764 unemployed claimants in Medway chasing 417 vacancies, official statistics show. This is a ratio of 16.2 people to every available job.

Medway is second in the South East league, with Thanet topping the table with a ratio of 18.4. In London, just more than 10 people are chasing every vacancy.

The figures come from analysis of official unemployment figures for April by the GMB union, which says the government's priority should be encouraging economic growth.

Last month, the Messenger reported how unemployment jumped in Medway by 110.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Kent and Medway fell by 48 to 33,803 in April. But the dole queue lengthened in Medway to 6,764.

The climate in Medway has been volatile over the past year, with 527 coming off the figures since last April when the number of jobless was 7,271.

That came down by nearly 1,000 by August, but has since crept up.

Speaking to the GMB Congress this week, regional secretary Richard Ascough said: "Government spending did not cause the crisis. Nor did public borrowing. There was no problem with the public finances before the banks got into terrible trouble, causing confidence to collapse and the economy to sink into recession.

"As the recession hit home, firms and families cut back on their spending, tax revenues sank and public borrowing soared.

"By seeking to eliminate the deficit entirely within just four years, the coalition is strapping the economy into a financial straitjacket.

"Easing the squeeze by spreading the adjustment over two Parliaments would improve the prospects for steady economic growth, thereby allowing sustained reductions in public borrowing without sacrificing public services."

The South East average was 4.2, while the national figure was 5.8 people to every spare job.

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