Claimant count rises across South West Wales
THE number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has risen across South West Wales.
In Swansea the claimant count rose from 5,263 in January to 5,670 in February.
In Neath Port Talbot the number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance rose in the same period from 3,468 to 3,594.
The picture in Carmarthenshire was similar as the claimant count rose from 3,625 in January to 3,737 in February.
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Across Wales as a whole the number of people out of work and claiming rose from 77,500 to 77,700.
The number of unemployed people across Wales rose 8,000 from November to January up to 125,000.
Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment, said: "It's a credit to businesses that the private sector is employing one and a quarter million more people than when this Government took office, helping us compete in the global race.
"Today's figures show that against a difficult economic backdrop we're helping people to move off benefits and into work.
"There are still tough challenges ahead which is why we're working hard to give jobseekers all the help and support they need to realise their aspiration of finding a job."
Welsh Policy Unit Chair for the Federation of Small Businesses, Janet Jones, said: "For the second month running we are seeing another worrying increase in the number of unemployed in Wales.
"However compared to a year ago, the figures are more favourable, showing how volatile the situation is in Wales.
"Our latest quarterly index revealed today shows that small businesses in Wales are significantly more confident than they were this time last year.
"We need to hear measures from the Chancellor today to boost that confidence and give a helping hand to small businesses.
"He must deliver a Budget for business that will give clear tools to small firms to create jobs and wealth.
"We know that smaller firms can be an important pathway back to work for the long-term unemployed."