Economy and employment data

Facts and figures about economy and employment in Kent.

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Kent and Medway Economic Dashboard

The Economic Dashboard (XLSX, 2.5 MB) has been developed to help support local recovery from the economic impacts of events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

It draws from a range of economic indicators and uses modelled data to help to identify the possible impact on local economies and those areas which may be more economically vulnerable.

The average annual disposable income of households in Kent is presented in the Gross Disposable Household Income bulletin (PDF, 417.8 KB).

The Small Area Income Estimates Bulletin (PDF, 936.4 KB) presents estimates of income before and after housing costs at local level.

Average weekly earnings data for the districts in Kent is summarised in Earnings in Kent (PDF, 466.8 KB). This information is gathered from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), a national sample survey carried out each April.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) interactive mapping tool allows you to view the average weekly household income before and after housing costs for local areas across England.

Information about the economy at county and district level is presented in the Kent economic indicators report (PDF, 1.4 MB).

12 economic indicators are used to examine Kent's economic profile:

  • unemployment
  • job density
  • change in employees
  • percentage of employees in the 'knowledge economy'
  • employment rate
  • resident based earnings
  • workplace based earnings
  • Gross Value Added (GVA)
  • business stock
  • 3 Year Survival Rates of businesses
  • proportion of the population who are educated to NVQ2+ level
  • proportion of the population who are educated to NVQ4+ level

Gross Value Added (GVA) (PDF, 1.2 MB) is a key measure of economic wealth generation within a local area and is the measure preferred by the Office for National Statistics to assess the economic health of an area.

The Kent labour force profile (PDF, 394.6 KB) shows information about the level of economic activity, self-employment, occupational and industrial structure and qualifications of Kent's resident labour force.

More detailed information on a range of social and economic indicators is provided in the area profiles.

Counts of employees by industrial sector

Counts of total employees and employees by industrial sector are published annually by the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). Counts for Kent local authorities are presented in the:

The Annual Business Inquiry (ABI) bulletin (PDF, 110.4 KB) provides information about Kent employees by industrial sector between 1998 and 2008, with comparative figures for the South East region and Great Britain.

Welfare reform in Kent

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 is an Act of Parliament which makes changes to the rules concerning a number of benefits offered within the British social security system.

The Welfare Reform Review (PDF, 622.5 KB) provides analysis on the past trends for a range of indicators relating to changes for benefit claimants due to welfare reform.

Unemployment in Kent

Unemployment data is produced monthly from the administrative process of benefit claims. Analysis of the latest unemployment data at both district and ward level can be found in the Unemployment in Kent bulletin (PDF, 708.4 KB).

Unemployment data is available from January 2007 for districts and wards in the unemployment models:

Forecast unemployment

In November 2020 The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published 3 economic forecast scenarios for Great Britain. Kent Unemployment Forecasts 2021 (PDF, 303.7 KB) provides unemployment forecasts for Kent and Kent local authority districts based upon the OBR forecasts.

Measuring unemployment in Kent

There are 3 main ways to measure unemployment. These are presented in the unemployment measures bulletin (PDF, 279.7 KB).

Universal Credit claims in Kent

Universal Credit is a payment to help with living costs for those on a low income or who are out of work. Many people have seen their income reduce due to coronavirus measures.

Our Universal Credit claims bulletin (PDF, 629.9 KB) looks at the number of Universal Credit claimants in Kent and Medway and how they have changed over recent months.

Number of people claiming benefits in Kent

The number of people claiming a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit is presented in the Benefit claimants bulletin (PDF, 565.3 KB). The key DWP benefits include:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Pension Credit (PC)
  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Incapacity Benefit (IB)
  • Universal Credit (UC)
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Equality and Diversity provides information about people claiming disability related benefits.

The Kent labour force profile (PDF, 394.6 KB) shows information on:

  • levels of economic activity
  • self-employment
  • occupational and industrial structure
  • qualifications of Kent's workforce.

Travel to work patterns

Information about the method of travel to work in Kent can be found in the 2021 Census table: Method of travel to work (XLSX, 63.8 KB)

Information about the distance travelled to work in Kent can be found in the 2021 Census table: Distance travelled to work (XLSX, 63.6 KB)

Information about car or van availability in Kent can be found in the 2021 Census table: car or van availability (XLSX, 72.3 KB)

These tables present data from the 2021, 2011, and 2001 Census.


The number of Kent residents who go into higher education and the number of people who come to Kent to study in higher education is examined in the Graduates in Kent report (PDF, 475.0 KB). This report also looks at where these graduates come from and their destinations, including how many of them end up employed in Kent.