Steep rise in un­em­ployed

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? - by Trevor Sturgess tsturgess@thek­m­group.co.uk

THE SE­VERE im­pact of the eco­nomic melt­down on work­ers and their fam­i­lies just be­fore Christ­mas emerged as new fig­ures showed un­em­ploy­ment soar­ing by more than 2,300 across the county.

Job­less fig­ures on Novem­ber 13 showed in­creases in all parts of Kent, in­clud­ing Ash­ford, 1,132 (up 144) and Shep­way, 1,747 (up 132).

It was black Wed­nes­day for thou­sands in Kent as the toll of jobs mis- ery was un­veiled in the lat­est fig­ures show­ing 22,158 peo­ple are now out of work and claim­ing ben­e­fit.

That’s 2,308 higher than the pre­vi­ous month and one of the steep­est one-month rises in decades. Ex­perts fear that as re­ces­sion takes hold, there will be more job losses to come in the New Year.

Pain was felt across the county, with three-fig­ure in­creases in all ar­eas apart from Sevenoaks which saw job­less num­bers ris­ing by 98.

In Med­way, more than 300 ex­tra peo­ple joined the dole queue, in­creas­ing the num­ber out of work to 4,507 (2.8 per cent of the work force).

In the rest of Kent, un­em­ploy­ment bal­looned by 1,989 to 17,651 (2.1 per cent).

Na­tion­ally, the claimant count soared by 75,700 to 1.07 mil­lion, the high­est fig­ure since July 2000. It is up 257,500 over the year.

The Gov­ern­ment’s pre­ferred quar­terly mea­sure rose by 137,000 to 1.86 mil­ion, or six per cent of the work­force, up 0.4 per­cent­age points on the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

It is the high­est fig­ure since the three months to De­cem­ber 1997.

The last time the rate was higher was in the three months to May 1999 when it was 6.1 per cent. The num­ber of un­em­ployed peo­ple has in­creased by 238,000 over the year.

The claimant count was 1.07 mil­lion in Novem­ber 2008 (the high­est fig­ure since July 2000). It is up 75,700 over the pre­vi­ous month and up 257,500 over the year.

The re­dun­dancy level for the three months to Oc­to­ber 2008 was 180,000, up 41,000 over the quar­ter and up 49,000 over the year.

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