THE employment rate in Wales is at a near record high of 73.3 per cent, according to new statistics.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released on Wednesday also show that female unemployment rate is at a record low of 24,000.

The figures show that 31.85 million people are employed, which is an increase of 315,000 since last year and 2.8million since 2010.

In Newport, when looking at the overall claimant count year-on-year there has been a 47 per cent reduction over the past five years and an 8 per cent decrease since last year.

At the moment there are 64,000 people who are employed in the city.

The amount of claimants in both Torfaen and Monmouthshire has also decreased, with a 60 per cent reduction over the past five years in Torfaen and a 59 per cent reduction in Monmouthshire.

Stephen Williams, a manager at JobCentre Plus in Cwmbran, said: “We have done a lot more work to deliver the support to customers this year. We are in a position to look at what people want and we can go and source what is needed to help them.”

The figures from the ONS also show that in the UK as a whole, employment rate is at a high of 74.6 per cent, and that the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 percent – the lowest level in 12 years.

In the UK, there are 1.58 million unemployed people, which is 106,000 fewer than this time last year.

Commenting on the latest Labour Market Statistics, first minister Carwyn Jones said: “These latest statistics show that the jobs market in Wales is continuing to outperform almost every other part of the UK.

“Meanwhile our unemployment rate is now 0.3 percentage points lower than the UK average and 0.8 percentage points down on the year. Economic inactivity in Wales is also down on both the quarter and the year.

“We are continuing to work hard to grow the Welsh economy and are constantly looking to the future.”

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