The latest labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics today (15 March) have revealed that the unemployment rate in Wales remains lower than the UK average, which itself is at its lowest since June to August 1975. The employment level in Wales has increased by 11,000 over the year.
The statistics show:
- The employment level in Wales is up 2,000 over the quarter to 1.451 million. Over the year, the level increased by 11,000.
- The unemployment level is up 1,000 over the quarter to 66,000. Over the year, the level decreased by 12,000 and the rate was down 0.8 percentage point. The rate in Wales is now 0.3 percentage points lower than the unemployment rate for the UK as a whole, which is 4.7 per cent.
- The claimant count in Wales fell 800 between January 2017 and February 2017 and has fallen by 3,600 (8.7 per cent) since February 2016. The rate stands at 2.6 per cent.
- Economic inactivity is down 8,000 over the quarter to 443,000 and the rate is down by 0.4 percentage points to 23.3 per cent. Over the year, the level decreased by 20,000 and the rate was down 1 percentage point. For the UK, inactivity decreased by 34,000 (0.1 percentage points) over the quarter and fell 59,000 (0.2 percentage points) over the year and now stands at 8.874 million. The inactivity rate for the UK now stands at 21.6 per cent.
- Total employment for the UK rose by 92,000 over the quarter to 31,854 million. The rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 74.6 per cent. Over the year, the level increased by 315,000 and the rate by 0.5 percentage points. The employment rate is at a joint record high.
- Total UK unemployment decreased by 31,000 over the quarter to 1.584 million, the rate also fell to 4.7%. Over the year, the unemployment level fell by 106,000 and the rate by 0.3 percentage points. It has not been lower since June to August 1975.
Alun Cairns said:
It is great news that the UK unemployment rate has reached its lowest point since June to August 1975 and that Wales’ rate continues to stay below this average. The increase in employment level in Wales highlights business confidence in the Welsh economy and its ability to face the challenges ahead.
Wales continues to lead the way. Over the past year, the employment rate has grown faster in Wales than any other region of the UK and economic inactivity has fallen faster than the UK average.
Wales continues to show that it’s a great place for businesses to thrive and we the UK Government will continue to build and maintain relationships in order to create the right conditions for growth.