Unemployment falls 9,000 in Wales, ONS figures show

Unemployment in Wales dropped by 9,000 in the three months to May, latest figures show.

It means 115,000 people were looking for work between March and May, 16,000 lower than the same period last year, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Wales' unemployment rate fell 0.6% to 7.9%, against 7.7% for the UK.

But the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Wales has risen by 1,700 in the past month to stand at 74,500.

The fall in the number of job seekers in Wales accounted for more than a third of a wider fall across the UK, where unemployment fell 26,000 in the three months to May to 2.45m.

Wales' rise in the claimant count figures comes as the number of people across the UK claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in June rose by 24,500 to 1.52m - the biggest such increase in two years.

The figures also show the economic inactivity level in Wales was 483,000, a fall of 3,000 on the previous quarter.

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan welcomed the jobs market and economic activity figures.

She said: "Employment in Wales continues to go in the right direction."

She said the UK government's policies "for creating the right conditions for business growth and job creation" were getting "more people back to work in Wales, while our welfare reforms are showing that work pays".

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