Wales politics

Wales unemployment unchanged at 125,000 to end of April

Image caption The ONS has said the underlying picture is fairly flat for unemployment across the UK as a whole

Unemployment in Wales has stayed the same, with 125,000 people out of work - or a rate of 8.4% - for the three months to the end of April.

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data follows falls in the figures in the two previous months.

Unemployment is down 6,000 on the year.

The claimant count, the number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance last month, was down slightly on the month.

UK unemployment fell 5,000 to 2.51m.

Welsh Secretary David Jones welcomed an increase in the number of people in work - 10,000 over the quarter and 32,000 over a year.

"It is very encouraging that the latest statistics continue to show encouraging signs of growth in Wales and these figures show Wales moving in the right direction," he said.

"The UK government has made supporting our economy a priority and today's figures show we are on the right track."

Mr Jones announced plans for a "job summit" in north Wales "to encourage and open up discussions on employment and the issues businesses face".

A similar event was held in Newport in February.

'Global economy'

The Welsh government said the figures over the year showed Wales had outperformed the UK average in employment, unemployment and economic inactivity.

But a spokesperson said: "The latest figures show that the economic situation in Wales remains challenging due to the weak global economy and spending cuts imposed by the UK government.

"Whilst the UK government holds all the major macroeconomic tools, we are doing all we can to help people back into jobs or training."

Welsh ministers said their unemployment programme, Jobs Growth Wales, had created more than 6,000 additional jobs since April last year.

However Plaid Cymru accused the Welsh government of "continuing to fail in its efforts to tackle unemployment".

Party economy spokesman Alun Ffred Jones said: "Once again, the figures show no improvement, and show that unemployment in Wales remains higher than the rest of the UK.

"On top of this, the number of unemployed women has risen again.

"Plaid Cymru has urged the Welsh government to do much more to tackle unemployment, and last month we launched our Plan C for the economy, detailing what a Plaid Cymru government would do to revive our ailing economy," he added.

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