Wales

Jobless numbers up 4,000 in Wales

Job centre computer screen listing jobs
Image caption Despite a rise, the jobless figures remain below the high point for 2010

The number of those out of work in Wales has risen for the first time in six months.

The latest official figures show that 125,000 people are unemployed - up 4,000 on the quarter for the three months to October.

It means the unemployment rate in Wales stands at 8.6%, while the UK average is at 7.9%.

However, the number of people claiming jobseekers benefits in November remained unchanged at 71,000.

Despite the latest rise, the number jobless remains below the high point for 2010, which was 133,000 people out of work

The highest rate of benefit claimants in Wales remains in Blaenau Gwent at 6.3%, which is a drop of 1.2% on the month.

Monmouthshire and Ceredigion have the lowest rate, at 1.9%.

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics also show how different industry sectors have fared over the last year.

The number of people employed in manufacturing in September 2010 in Wales has dropped by 20,000 posts.

The drop in workplace jobs in the health and social service sector has fallen by 12,000, while in information technology the reduction is 9,000 places.

At the same time, the number of people employed in the retail industries has jumped up by 29,000 since September 2009.

The rise in the food and accommodation sectors is even greater - with 36,000 more people now employed in those areas than a year ago.

Commenting on the labour market figures, Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "It is true that these latest figures show two encouraging signs.

'Cautious'

"The number of people in work in Wales has gone up over the year, while the claimant count, the most timely measure of how many people are seeking support, has dropped by 12.3% over the year, more than the UK.

"Despite this progress we remain cautious.

"The aftershocks of the recession are still being felt and the data suggests that the rate of improvement in the UK economy has slowed.

"All of us need to continue working together to make sure this slow recovery is properly established and here to stay."

The assembly's Conservative spokesperson on the economy, Darren Millar said the statistics showed that the UK government was taking the right approach in cutting the economic deficit.

He added: "More needs to be done at an assembly level to help stimulate job creation, which is why Welsh Conservatives would abolish business rates for the majority of Wales' small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship in our schools."

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