Unemployment: Kent dole queues down ahead of EU referendum
There has been a fall in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Kent, indicating employers are still active in the run up to the EU referendum.
Dole queues shrank by 365 to 17,880 across the county in May, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Medway saw its claimant count fall by 155 to 3,450, its largest fall since November.
The second largest fall was in Gravesham where 70 fewer people were on either jobseeker’s allowance or universal credit, bringing its total to 1,305.
Thanet was down 50 to 2,680, Dover down 40 to 1,305, Swale down 40 to 1,825 and Ashford down 25 to 1,050.
There were some marginal increases, with Shepway up 15 to 1,365, Tonbridge and Malling up 10 to 720 and Canterbury and Dartford both up five to 1,220 and 745 respectively.
Small declines were seen in Sevenoaks and Maidstone, each down 10 to 515 and 1,205 respectively, while Tunbridge Wells fell by five to 490, the county’s lowest total.
In the South East, unemployment increased by 2,000 to 181,000 in the three months to April, although this is down 10,000 compared to the same time last year.
Nationally, there were 1.67 million unemployed people, a fall of 20,000, putting the unemployment rate at 5%.
Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said: “Secure employment and a decent wage are key to transforming the life chances of people right the way across the country, so I’m delighted to see another strong set of figures this month.
“There are more people in work than ever before and wages are continuing their upward climb. There’s good news in the South East with the highest employment rate of any UK region, and over 4.5 million people in work.
“Our economic plan is delivering jobs and security right across the UK.”