ARGUS COMMENT: Unemployment progress, but still a long way to go

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UNEMPLOYMENT figures released yesterday show that some welcome progress is being made in Wales.

The unemployment rate here of 7.1 per cent is now marginally below that for the UK as a whole for the first time in almost five years.

This is of course to be welcomed as is the significant fall in the number of unemployed 16-17-year-olds, proof perhaps that targeted employment schemes are having some impact.

But the figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal there are still 105,000 people in Wales out of work and that means there is still a very long way to go.

Further, the figures do not reveal how many of the jobs created are part time as opposed to full time positions.

And, as our front page story indicates all too clearly, the jobs market is still very difficult.

Even for someone as committed and determined as David Green so obviously is, it is not easy finding secure employment.

With years of experience and despite having applied for hundreds of jobs, he cannot seem to secure anything other than a temporary contract.

Since the beginning of this year alone the father has already sent out 150 applications.

We fully understand his frustration and there is no doubt he is just one example of many people in s asimilar situation.

Unemployment figures may be heading in the right direction but we are not out of the woods just yet.

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