Wales

Unemployment in Wales at lowest rate for a decade

Job centre Image copyright PA
Image caption There are now 45,000 more people working in Wales than a year ago

The unemployment rate in Wales has dropped to its lowest level in a decade.

The latest Office for National Statistics figures show 4.6% of people were out of work in Wales in the quarter to May.

It is the third successive set of figures where Wales has outstripped the rest of the UK.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said the Welsh Government had been "working hard" to create and safeguard jobs.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said it was the sign of a "buoyant economy" with businesses confident to take on staff.

More than 1.4m people in Wales are now in work - up 4,000 over the quarter - and just below record levels.

The unemployment rate in Wales has fallen faster than any other UK region over the year - and compares to a 4.9% for the UK as a whole.

It is the lowest since 2005.

There were 70,000 unemployed people in Wales in the latest figures, the lowest since early 2008.

Mr Jones said: "We are ahead of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland with the fastest growing rate of employment over the last 12 months. Economic inactivity in Wales has also declined over the past year and quarter.

"As a pro-business government, we have been working hard to create the right economic conditions to help create and safeguard jobs right across Wales and our policies are continuing to reap the rewards."

Mr Cairns said: "Brexit will mean significant challenges but entrepreneurs thrive on change.

"Business leaders are telling me they are optimistic about the future and excited about export opportunities further afield.

"We are making the UK trade and industry team available to help Welsh businesses explore new markets and demonstrate that Wales is open for business."

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