Wales

Jobless in Wales at 92,000

A man walks past a job centre Image copyright PA
Image caption Unemployment stands at 5.6% across the UK

The number of people out of work in Wales has stayed at 92,000, according to the latest official figures.

That gives Wales an unchanged jobless rate of 6.2% - still one of the highest levels in the UK.

Across Britain, unemployment fell 76,000 to 1.84 million, down from 5.7%.

However, there were 12,000 fewer people unemployed than the three months earlier - one of the largest drops in the UK.

Janet Jones, from the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, said: "Given these figures we would reiterate the need for a strong focus on job creation here in Wales."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Unemployment and economic inactivity have fallen faster in Wales and employment has increased at a higher rate than across the UK over that period.

"Claimant count is lower across all areas of Wales than at the same time last year and the Annual Population Survey shows that youth unemployment is also falling faster in Wales than across the UK."

Image copyright Thinkstock

Analysis from BBC Wales economics correspondent Sarah Dickins

For about a year now there has been concern about the level of unemployment in Wales.

Until last Spring it had been tracking the pattern of falling rates across the UK and one set of figures from the ONS even showed the Welsh rate to be lower than the UK. But since then it has changed.

The UK rate has continued to fall, the Welsh rate has lingered and now there is a significant gap between the Welsh rate - 6.2% - and the UK rate of 5.6%.

The Welsh rate is one of the highest after the north east of England.

The fact that 12,000 fewer people were unemployed between the three month periods is significant and good news for the Welsh economy.

It is also good news that there are 24,000 more people employed in Wales than between September to November. Across the UK the rate of people employed is the highest it has been since records began in 1971.

However we are still the only part of the UK where there are fewer people in work than a year ago.

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