Fewer people out of work
There has been a fall in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Kent, indicating employers were still active in the run-up to today’s (Thursday) 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 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.
In the South East, unemployment increased by 2,000 to 181,000 in the three months to April, although this is down 10,000 on last year. Nationally, there were 1.67 million unemployed, a fall of 20,000, putting the unemployment rate at 5%.