Published: Wed, February 15, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Unemployment drops in Wales at end of 2016

Unemployment drops in Wales at end of 2016

United Kingdom unemployment levels remain at 11-year low at 4.8 percent, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

67,000 people were unemployed in Wales between October and December 2016 - down by 1,000 compared to the previous quarter.

Wage growth has accelerated over the last 12 months from an annual rate of only 1.9 per cent in December 2015, but inflation is expected to rise steadily over the coming year.

The employment rate edged higher to 74.6% - a record high - while wage growth also picked up pace.

Employment in the United Kingdom has reached its highest rate since records began, the latest labour market figures show.

"Overall, the labour market appears to be edging towards full capacity", said David Freeman, senior statistician at the Office for National Statistics. However, what spooked the markets was the lower than expected wage growth recorded.

But over the past year Europeans accounted for two-thirds of the net increase in employment in Britain. This is outpacing the current rate of inflation.

The number of people in work in Wales dropped in the last quarter of 2016, but was still up compared to the previous year, figures have shown. A key concern expressed during the course of the run up to the June referendum was a concern over rising levels of immigration and the strain this was having upon employment.

"With youth unemployment down, women in work at record levels and number of disabled people in work increasing too, we're delivering on our pledge to build a country that works for everyone". These figures may be affected by seasonal patterns in employment. The figure, was 302,000 higher than in the corresponding period past year and above analysts' expectations for a 22,000 gain.

Claimant count figures at local level are not seasonally adjusted and so can not be compared directly with the national figure, but most parts of Suffolk and north and mid-Essex saw numbers edge slightly higher in January.

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