Official figures released today (16 April) show that unemployment in Wales fell by 6,000 in the three months to February 2014.
The quarterly Labour Market Statistics from the Office for National Statistics also show that youth unemployment fell by 800 in March and by 5,400 (22.2 per cent) during the year.
Secretary of State for Wales David Jones said:
“We welcome the latest statistics which show a strong labour market in Wales. Under this government the number of people in work in Wales has exceeded 1.38 million for the first time in our history. Just last week I hosted the third of our Wales Office Jobs Summits which again promoted youth employment opportunities in Small and Medium Enterprises.
“Earlier this month I also visited centres of engineering excellence in north Wales and saw how companies are investing in their workforces to build a globally competitive skills base. The latest statistics not only reflect the business confidence I’ve seen on my recent visits, but demonstrate how the UK government is creating the right conditions for growth and employment.”
In Wales there were 41,000 more people in work over the last year, with the rate increasing by 2.2 percentage points. The employment rate has increased by the highest amount of all the UK nations and regions – almost double the increase across the UK.
The quarterly statistics also show that the unemployment rate was 6.8% in Wales, lower than the rate across the UK. Although there was a decrease in employment compared to the previous quarter, the employment rate was unchanged.
David Jones MP said:
“While there is a drop of 5,000 this quarter for numbers of people in work, these statistics are compared to the previous quarter which showed a record high in employment. It is important to focus on the longer-term trends. In the last year employment has increased by 41,000 and the employment rate has increased by more than any other UK nation or region. This is a long-term trend showing that our long-term economic plan is working in Wales
Link to ONS statistics