Welsh unemployment rate at 4.3%

By Sarah Dickins
BBC Wales economics correspondent

image source, Jirsak/Getty Images

Unemployment in Wales was 4.3% between November and January, higher than the UK average of 3.9%, according to the latest official figures.

Wales saw one of the biggest reductions in the rate of "economic inactivity".

This refers to working-age people who are not available for work because they have taken early retirement, or are sick, caring for someone else or a full-time student.

In Wales this was down to 20.5%, lower than the UK average of 20.7%.

Only Northern Ireland, the south-west of England and the east of England saw greater falls.

The employment rate in Wales was 76% between November 2018 and January 2019, up 0.8 percentage points on the previous month.

That is slightly lower than the UK average of 76.1%.

These figures do not show how many hours people are working, or how many jobs they have.

Employment in Wales. Thousands.  .

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said: "These are another set of overwhelmingly positive labour market statistics for Wales. There are 78,000 more people in work in Wales, with the largest increase in the rate of employment of any UK country or English region in the last year."

He said the UK government was "committed to creating the right conditions" for economic growth, attracting inward investment and facilitating job creation through its industrial strategy.

"I look forward to seeing Wales continue to break its own employment records year on year," he added.

Unemployment rate. % 16 and over, seasonally-adjusted.  .

Economy Minister Ken Skates said the Welsh Government would continue to work tirelessly to support companies to invest and grow despite uncertainty from Westminster's "chaotic approach to Brexit".

He added: "These are challenging times but these figures underline that we have much to be positive about here in Wales."

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