Unemployment on the rise despite record vacancies due to shift to Universal Credit

THE number of people out of work in Tunbridge Wells rose last month, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released last week, despite record vacancies in the town.

Tunbridge Wells recorded 1,640 claimants in September, up 1.9 per cent since August, and representing a 2.3 per cent claimant rate.

This compared to claimant rates of 2.9 and 3.7 per cent for the South East and Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland).

Unemployment had been falling since the end of the Covid crisis, when it peaked to more than 3,000 claimants, but it has failed to return to pre-pandemic levels.

In March 2020 there were just 1,130 people claiming unemployment benefit in Tunbridge Wells.

But the ONS has said that the reason jobless figures haven’t returned to the same levels as before the Covid crisis is the change from Job Seeker’s Allowance to Universal Credit.

“Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance,” the ONS said.

“As Universal Credit Full Service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the claimant count is therefore likely to rise.”

Recruitment Consultant, Neil Simmons of TN Recruits said that ‘vacancies in the area were still high’.

“In Tunbridge Wells, there are still lots of vacancies coming through,” he said.

“It’s still a challenge to find the right candidate for the right role, but this plays into our hands, since we have the resources and can dig deeper than our clients.”

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter