Wales jobless rate remains lower than UK average

Job centre Image copyright PA

Unemployment in Wales remains lower than for the UK as a whole, latest figures show.

The rate for Wales between February and April remained at 4.8%, compared to 5% for the UK as a whole, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In the last three months, the jobless figure has fallen by 5,000 but employment has also fallen by 2,000.

However compared with a year ago Wales has 22,000 fewer people unemployed and 42,000 more people in jobs.

UK unemployment fell to 1.67 million in the same quarter, down 20,000.

While this is clearly good news for Wales it also needs to be remembered that many months ago while many parts of the UK had more people working than 12 months previously, Wales had considerably fewer people working than a year earlier.

Economic inactivity - people who are not working and not available for work - is a continuing problem for the Welsh economy.

The number of people in that position in Wales has fallen by 10,000 since 12 months ago but still stands at 24.3% of 16-64 year olds. For the UK as a whole, economic inactivity stands at 21.8%.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said: "An expanding Welsh economy is creating a strong jobs' market.

"Today's statistics again point to a confident Wales, which is exporting and trading its way to greater success.

"There is more work to do, and there is also some suggestion that investments are being paused until the EU referendum result is known.

"But I am confident Wales will continue to pull ahead and continue to create highly skilled jobs with wages to match."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said Wales was continuing to outperform Scotland, England and Northern Ireland with its growing rate of employment.

"Already in 2016 many companies such as Aston Martin, MotoNovo, TVR, Essentra, EE and BT have all chosen Wales as the place to locate or expand their new businesses, creating employment and training opportunities for thousands of Welsh workers," he said.

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