Employment levels fell between August and October

Colourful figures standing on newspaper job adverts Image copyright Getty Images

The employment rate in Wales fell slightly between August and October, according to the latest figures.

They suggest there were 8,000 fewer people in employment in Wales than the previous quarter, and 20,000 fewer compared with the same time last year.

Wales has a relatively low level of people employed at 74.3% of 16 to 64-year-olds, compared with the UK.

Only Northern Ireland, the north-east of England and Yorkshire and Humber have lower levels of employment.

Despite the fall, the rate remains near historically high levels.

However, unemployment in Wales fell during the quarter, with the jobless rate going down to 3.6% of people over 16.

That is below the UK rate of 3.8% and lower than the previous three months.

There were 4,000 fewer unemployed in Wales compared with May to July.

The fall in both employment and unemployment is in part explained by an increase in the number of "economically inactive" people - working-age adults who are not employed and not available to work because of factors like sickness, early retirement or being a full-time carer or student.

In Wales, the figures suggest 22.9% of working age adults were economically inactive, up from 22.3% in the previous quarter and 21.1% in the same period last year. This is higher than the UK average, as has historically been the case.

There were 12,000 more people in Wales counted as economically inactive between August and October, and 34,000 more than 12 months ago.

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