Steep rise in unemployed
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.