Thanet unemployment rates rise again

Jobcentre plus sign

Unemployment figures for December show a rise of Thanet people out of work, up 3.7% – equating to 165 people – on rates for November. This follows a 4.2% rise in unemployment between October and November but is a 0.4% drop -equalling 40 people- on December 2022.

Overall the unemployment rate for the isle stands at 5.6% of the working age population, amounting to 4,600 people. This is the highest rate in the county with Gravesham having the next highest rate at 4.3%. The Kent average is 3.4%.

Thanet has the second highest rate of youth unemployment in the south east with 865 claimants aged between 18 and 24, a rate of 9.4% compared to the Kent average of 5.2% and the national average of 5%. Hastings has the highest youth unemployment rate in the south east at 10%.

In Kent 32,515 people were claiming unemployment benefits in December and the number of people unemployed in Kent in has increased by 2.6% (+830) since the previous month.

Polly Billington has been selected to represent Labour at the next General Election Photo Julian Newick

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the new East Thanet constituency, Polly Billington, said: “These figures are a sign of failure and missed opportunities here in Thanet.

“For far too long unemployment figures here have been higher than the rest of the country and Thanet’s youth figures are nearly double the national average.

“Our working age population needs opportunities and skills so they can fulfil their own ambitions and contribute to growing the economy. That means more and better jobs here in Thanet and the training available so they can make the most of what comes along. Most of all we should make work pay.

“Labours green prosperity plan will create jobs in the growing industries of clean and green energy we have already demonstrated we are good at here in Thanet. We need more of that.”

Figures come from Kent County Council using Office for National Statistics data. 

Thanet JobCentre Plus

In Thanet a recruitment event organised by JobCentre Plus will take place on January 31 at Margate Caves.

An event earlier this month held at the Salvation Army in Margate was attended by employers such as Mitie, McDonald’s, and the Home Office.

In addition, providers Rethink and National Careers Service offered mental health support, assisting with CVs and careers advice.

Thanet JobCentres recruitment specialist Lily Chiu said: “With the ongoing vacancy drive at Manston, interest in security work remains high. Our upcoming SIA course on 23rd January with Harlow College is fully booked. Due to demand, another course is already in the works for a couple of months’ time. All customers will get an SIA licence and be offered a guaranteed interview with Mitie on completion of the course.

“The care sector remains a key priority as one of the largest growing industries. Following the job fair, Turning Point has offered nine interviews, commenting that they were really impressed with customer engagement.

“On top of this, we have further interviews booked onsite at the jobcentre with CareTech and MyLife Homecare. Encouraging customers to take up social care work can sometimes be difficult, but we have had great successes so far with both companies.

“As a free and local service, we are always looking to collaborate with new employers and have recently started working with Margate Football Club, who are looking for bar and hospitality staff on match days. We are also engaging with Your Leisure to fill leisure assistant and seasonal bay inspector roles”.

Employers interested in attending fortnightly recruitment days can contact Lily Chiu, DWP Recruitment Specialist [email protected] or NicholasGurr, DWP Recruitment Specialist [email protected] to book their place

Job seekers who would like to attend recruitment fairs can do so through their JobCentre coach.


  1. What is it with you and Neanderthals? As a branch of hominids they were well suited to their environment until Homo sapiens blew in from Africa and they disappeared possibly because of being out competed, and a change in climate.
    So being an immigrant species from Africa, that settled in Birchington makes you superior in some way? Probably not!
    I think unless you have something interesting to say about reducing unemployment maybe you ought to give a rest.

  2. All the more reason the sooner Manston Airport reopens the better for jobs…. Of course our oddball LABOUR council would rather unemployment. I am a national Labour Party member and embarrassed that our local Labour council are an embarrassment to our party.

    • Bill – as a Labour member I would hope that you would know that we’re far from an embarrassment to the national party. In spite of the government’s chronic underfunding of local authorities, we have made huge progress in the months since taking power.
      Securing 123 new council homes (up from an avg. of 18 a year), more street cleaning services and improvements to the public realm have all been achieved since May.
      As far as Manston goes – TDC has no say whether the airport succeeds or not so it’s irrelevant whether councillors support it.
      However – Labour councillors (including myself) visited the site, had an interesting presentation from RSP so have a full understanding of the plans etc.
      Why don’t you pop along to a meeting and get to know some of your fellow members – you’d be most welcome.

    • Bill, thats what the article is referring to when it says “Security Work At Manston” nothing to do with the airport. Manston airport will never fly, its supposed to be a cargo hub only, no passengers! A Develop Consent Order (DCO) is still being processed to an appeal, due to the 2 chocolate tea pot MP’s for Thanet, who are conning people like you into thinking there is national “Need for an airport in Thanet, Duuurh!

      • Get your facts right Dumpton. The proposals for Manston are primarily as a cargo hub, but also with a small number passenger flights. I for one would welcome being able to fly on holiday from Manston rather than having to go to Gatwick.

        I’d love to know how many of those who oppose Manston actually do take flights for their own holidays. Particularly Jenny Dawes.

        • Passenger flights were so successful last time they ran, me and my sister were the only people on a flight to Manchester at £25 a ticket. Plane company took a gargantuan loss on that.

    • You must have a very short memory Bill. Unemployment has been very high here for many years in a Tory lead council. Nothing will change and as for Manston Airport it will only employ outsiders mainly and there will be few jobs for locals. However the Manston detention centre will be here for years to come. Local thugs will be able to get a job.

    • Bil, it is the same clown shill promising jobs who promised them in 1998 for Wiggins & failed to deliver. There was virtually nobody there & most that were were part-timers-it is mostly automated.

      There aren’t going to be mass jobs there, even if it ever actually does happen-every company there bled money trying to run an airport. Gloag even bought it for a quid because nobody else wanted it-one does wonder where SHP & RSP were when it was up for sale before she took it on & ended up paying such vast sums for it, rather than 100 pennies?

  3. Perhaps the Labour run London borough’s could stop moving their unemployed dregs into Thanet adding to our already work shy unemployed contingent. Who would have thought that moving more unemployed from outside the area into an area with an already high rate of unemployment would make matters worse?

  4. Most “jobs” advertised in Thanet are a disgrace, not real job opportunities. Take away all the WFH scams, carer’s jobs that require a car to visit service users up to 20 miles away, sales jobs where you must “hit the ground running” and almost any job that involves hours OTHER THAN regular 9 – 5:30 and there’s nothing left; disallow these postings, and jobs searches would be cleaner and less soul destroying.

    It’s not so much about the NMW as it is about the job itself.

    Oh, and I would like to see retention/reposting rates for online advertised jobs; if a high number, avoid!

      • Yes, but most people don’t wear a cape & bite ladies necks in the early hours, well maybe at the weekends in the pub/club on fancy dress night.

      • Still a part-time Doorman than Cheggers?

        Probably more lucrative than having piles of self-published books clogging up the girlfriends place eh?

  5. Though a good few years back, Thanet Earth amply demonstrated the attitude of many of the areas unemployed. The project was touted at the time as a gateway to get many of the isles unemployed back into work , offering many lower skilled positions and the chance to advance. But the local workshy decided it was a little to much effort and would rather stay in bed, within a short time , the place pretty much entirely employed european migrant workers for whom the jobs gave them a start in the uk.
    As to how all the extra housing and who moves into them affects the areas % of unemployment remains to be seen, the extent of the manston industrial estate and the rate it is expanding rather suggests there are plenty of small lbusinesses and demand for space, there were also proposals for the All Saints estate , is that moving forward or stalled in planning?

    • From memory people had to make their way there as they didn’t put any transport on, at an ungodly hour in the morning, stand in a line for hours & then were usually told to sod off as they had enough for the day.

      Those who did were then working in appalling conditions, in the second largest light polluting premises in the land & had no rights. Of course most Brits used to our climate are not going to be able to withstand such insane temperatures for long & the word was they mostly hired non Brits anyway.

  6. 9 – 5:30 is more amenable to a social life and raising a family. Simple as that. Some will do it, yes, but most won’t.

    Thanet Earth: Did they provide a ferry bus from each Thanet town when they started and still do now? If not, it’s an out of way location, and an expensive tall order for a carless job seeker who can only expect a NMW to run it. Not surprised.

    Kathy Bailes: Typing in a comment on mobile is truly soul crushing; When the comment text goes outside the confines of the box, there is no option to scroll up/down via a scroll bar. Attempting to scroll on the text simply moves the webpage, not the text. Please fix.

    • Why can’t people cycle to and from work? When I was younger, I lived in Herne Bay and worked in Margate, cycling 24 miles every day (probably why I’m still fit now).

      Oh, and use a computer. Mobiles are for making phone calls.

  7. “Labours green prosperity plan will create jobs in the growing industries of clean and green energy we have already demonstrated we are good at here in Thanet. We need more of that.”

    Polly – easy to say / write – but exactly how do you intend to provide such jobs? More detail required before I can be persuaded to vote for you. At the moment I don’t think I will be voting as have no faith in any party or candidate. And that would be the first time I don’t vote.

  8. Dear me,
    This is like a MAGA convention.Why all the sound and fury?
    If Manston is successful we will see just how many persons are employed.
    To be successful, whether or not any legal issues determine the issue,it will take a lot of money over a long period just to survive let alone prosper.Are the investors at RSP prepared for that prospect?
    As for passenger flights they will be subject to the same iron laws of economics that governed the last time they operated.
    Thanet is located at the end of a peninsula and therefore the number of potential passengers are likely be insufficient.
    Cultural dissonance is not going to change those facts.

    • It’ll never function as a passenger airport for thereasons you give, however freight , maintenance , training all offer uses that would relieve pressures on the london airports and bring skilled well paid work to thanet. Of course wether it actually happens is another thing.

      • In terms of commercial viability, why would freight companies add another 60/120 miles on fuel costs? Why would they spend tens of millions on setting up automated warehouses, when they already exist at Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, east Midlands etc and are all situated by the busiest motorways in the country? Nevetmind the costs of relocating time served experts to run the places… It makes ZERO financial sense.

  9. There’s only one project capable of producing thousands of sustainable skilled jobs for an excess of a decade potentially two, building of a multi purpose area on the old multiple time failed airfield at Manston, the airport if ever gets going will not and is destined to crash and burn in under 6 years. So incompetent MPs and Cllrs do the right thing and create a genuine lasting legacy there, seriously your like thick kids putting a hand in the fire getting burnt and repeating. The definition of madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. The airfield is not economically or environmentally sustainable.

  10. How many years has this Lily Chui been put up for these pointless comments while the unemployment rate constantly increases? Thanet JobCentres recruitment specialist is of course a sacrificial lamb of a job, but what is she a specialist in exactly, if the number of unemployed keep rising, despite them holding a job fair pretty much every week for years now? Do they invite the same employers every week? What is the point?

    The statements she makes are always boll***s talk-Turning Point said they were impressed with the engagement-what does that mean? None of the nine offered jobs apparently. Seasonal work with no prospect of long-term, great successes so far with both care companies-but doesn’t tell us what these are, which suggests it is has in reality been very limited, Margate FC on matchdays-is that once or maybe twice a week for a few hours? Security jobs-but the people don’t have any licence or security experience.

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