WALES’ unemployment rate has continued to fall with new figures for the first three months of the year down showing it has dropped by a further 0.3 per cent.

The Newport-based Office for National Statistics yesterday said that 99,811 people were out of work in Wales during January to March 2014.

That’s down from 105,259 in the previous three months – a 0.3 per cent fall – and 1.4 per cent down on the same period in 2013.

Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones said that the rate of unemployment has fallen faster in Wales than the rest of the UK over the past year, and that the figures also showed youth unemployment continuing to fall faster in Wales than the rest of the UK.

He said: “Today’s figures show our economic policies are clearly working and creating the right conditions for businesses to grow in Wales.

He claimed that over the last financial year “the Welsh Government has supported 37,058 jobs – a 65 per cent increase on the previous year.

“We will continue this focus to secure every job and every opportunity to spread prosperity across Wales,” he added.

Tory secretary of state for Wales, David Jones said: “The fact that unemployment levels in Wales have continued to decrease is very promising news. We need to ensure that everyone in Wales can benefit from an improving jobs market and the growing economy.

“There is evidently still much to do, but there is a raft of measures in place to tackle the issues at hand, as well as helping to boost growth opportunities across the nation. We must ensure we maintain close relations with businesses on the ground in Wales and focus on putting in place the right conditions to enable them to create jobs, and help to maintain a strong labour market in Wales.”