Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 14:16 UK

Jobless total up 3,000 in Wales

A man searching on a Jobpoint computer terminal
The rise is in line with that of the UK as a whole

Unemployment in Wales rose by 3,000 to 79,000 between May and July, according to UK Government figures.

It means 5.5% of the Welsh workforce is unemployed, the same as across the UK.

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said the credit crisis was "biting" but the assembly government was "committed" to helping those in difficulty.

Welsh Conservative economic spokesman David Melding called for "effective back to work programmes" to help people who were out of work.

The job losses are mainly being blamed on a downturn in the construction industry.

Mr Jones said Wales was "not immune to the effects of international economic upheaval".

"These figures show the impact of the credit crunch is now biting in Wales.

"This (assembly) government is committed to using every tool we have to defend the interests of Welsh companies and their employees and support their efforts to preserve and create jobs."

Mr Melding warned the job losses were "another sign of the gathering economic gloom".

"The assembly and UK governments need to quickly put effective back-to-work programmes in place to support those who have lost their jobs," he said.

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