The number of people registered as unemployed at the Jobcentre has been on the decline since February, when the country was under the last lockdown.
According to the ONS, there were 2,330 people claiming out of work benefits in September, down from 2,400 in the month of August.
This is the lowest rate of unemployment since April 2020, the month after the UK went into its first lockdown.
Back then, unemployment rocketed from 1,130 in March 2020 to a high of 3,325 in August last year—the highest rate of unemployment in Tunbridge Wells since the 1993 recession, caused by Black Wednesday in 1992.
Fears that the end of the government’s Job retention Scheme last month would see a rise in unemployment appear to have been unfounded with local recruiters seeing a ‘record high’ demand for temporary workers.
Neil Simmons, who runs TN recruits, told the Times: “The end of furlough hasn’t changed anything for us, we haven’t noticed any difference.
“We have multiple vacancies across all of our divisions; Legal, Accountancy, Automotive and general office-based support vacancies.
“We have seen an increase in demand for temporary workers and the number of temps we have working with our clients is at a record high and climbing all the time.”
He added that to cope with demand, the agency has had to employ three more full-time recruiters.
He continued: “We have strong relationships with numerous people who operate within the recruitment sector across the UK who are reporting record months and quarters.
“Our peers, like us, cannot see any slow in the demand of staff for at least the next six months.”
The falling unemployment in Tunbridge Wells comes amid a national backdrop of record vacancies across the UK, estimated to be up to nearly 1.2 million in September.
This is compared to an unemployment rate in the country of 4.6 per cent of 1.5 million and may sectors struggling to fill roles.
The hospitality sector is finding it the most difficult to recruit, according to the ONS, with nearly a third (30 per cent) saying it is harder than normal to fill vacancies.