After a period of relative stability with the unemployment rate hovering at just under 22,000 people, since August last year each month the figure has been rising to its current rate of just under 27,000. A whopping 22% increase.
On closer inspection, all is not doom and gloom as the unemployment rate of 2.4% is still below national average of 2.7% and in general it is still a very low level. Thanet is worse effected with a rate of 5.4%, according to Kent County Council.
The concern though is that after enjoying relatively low unemployment that stretches back to February 2014 is the month on month increase over the last 8 months. The question and hope is will it level out or even reduce any time soon?
The 18-24 year group are worse effected with an unemployment rate of 3.8%.
As consumers increasingly turn to online shopping this can only have greater and greater impact on retail jobs from supermarkets, shopping centres to the already flagging high streets. It is a global issue and locally here in the county it will start to play a bigger and more destructive role in employment levels.
Jack Ma, CEO for the Chinese online retailer Ali-Baba, thinks there will come a time when people will only work 4 hours a day as he believes there will be less and less opportunities for employment.
What it could mean is the infrastructures of society will need to adapt to ensure everyone has the means to survive and enjoy life.
Could it be that Governments start to increase tax rates for online automated services everyone uses and cover the cost of more services in the community? Its possible but society – and by that we mean free markets – often have a way of sorting themselves out.
Only time will tell.