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Coronavirus: Jobless claimant count in Wales nearly doubles


May. 19, 2020

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Wales leapt in April, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.
There were 103,869 claimants compared with 58,576 in March.
It took the claimant rate from 3.9% of the Welsh workforce to 6.8%, compared with 5.8% across the UK.
The UK total soared to 2.1 million in April, an increase of 856,500, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Figures for January to March also showed unemployment at 3.2%, compared with 3.9% across the UK, an increase in Wales of 4,000 more than between October and December.
The three-month figures only cover the first week of the lockdown and the total is likely to worsen sharply in the coming months.
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They show that that there were 44,000 fewer people working in Wales in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2019.
The benefit claimant count from the Office of National Statistics does not include everyone who is out of work, since not everyone is entitled to claim assistance, but it does indicate the trend in the employment market.
Apart from Northern Ireland, Wales has the highest proportion of 16-64 year olds (23%) who are not working and not able to work, for instance because of ill health, caring for someone or being a student.
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