The jobs market in Wales continues to strengthen with record numbers of people now in work, according to new figures published today.
Another strong quarter of figures for the Welsh economy shows that employment in Wales is rising with a drop in people claiming benefits. There has also been a fall in the number of people classed as economically inactive - those who are not in employment or unemployed, but might for example be studying or looking after a family member.
Headlines from the Labour Market Statistics are:
- Employment in Wales has increased 33,000 over the last quarter to record levels
- The employment rate (proportion of 16-64 year olds in employment) was 71.5% - up 1.1 percentage points over the quarter.
- Unemployment levels in Wales have decreased by 8,000 over the last quarter
- The unemployment rate (proportion of 16+ unemployed) was 5.2% - down 0.7 percentage points over the quarter.
- Economic inactivity decreased 13,000 over the quarter and fallen 24,000 over the last year.
- The claimant count fell by 900 in February.
- There are 675,000 women in employment, an increase of 5,000 (0.8%) over the quarter and 18,000 (2.8%) over the year.
Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Wales, said:
These are a superb set of employment figures for Wales. There is a wave of optimism and ambition in the Welsh economy right now, translating into real jobs and rising wages for the people of Wales.
Record numbers of Welsh people are now going out to work every day - helping families get on, putting food on the table, and lifting children out of poverty.
Wales is back in business - but we can do even more. There are huge challenges in the steel industry which we must work together to tackle. I am determined to see Wales continue to climb from the bottom of the economic league table, and todays Budget will help Wales to do just that.