Wales

Wales unemployment rate stays higher than UK average

Job centre Image copyright PA

The rate of unemployment in Wales has remained higher than in the rest of the UK, after a year of being below the average.

Latest figures show 4.8% of 16 to 64 year olds in Wales were out of work in the first three months of this year, compared with 4.6% across the UK.

There were 25,000 more people in work in Wales during those months than in October to December says the ONS.

But there were also 6,000 more people out of work.

That is because there were 27,000 fewer people counted as economically inactive - not available for work because for instance they are ill, a student or caring for someone.

The UK's unemployment rate is down from 5.1% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.

Read more: Joining the ranks of the self-employed

First Minister Carwyn Jones said employment in Wales stood at "an historic high level".

"Improvement in the rate of economic inactivity in Wales has outperformed all parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the past year, while employment in Wales has improved at a rate of more than double the UK average over that same period," he said.

"Our ambitions for the Welsh economy are enormous and will continue to work hard to support business and ensure the economic conditions to create and safeguard sustainable jobs and training in Wales."

Mr Jones said creative industries was one sectors in Wales which continued to boom and he pointed to film and TV productions spending more than £113m over the last three years.

Conservative economy spokesman Russell George AM said: "Rising employment in Wales is a sign that the strong and stable leadership of Theresa May is working, and delivering huge investment opportunities for the country.

"It is essential now that we have a UK Government which can drive forward Wales' interests and keep employment rates stable."

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