The Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council has welcomed official figures showing unemployment in the county fell by more than 5.9 percent last month.

The drop – which saw the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance decrease by 157 to 2,652 – means the county has the sixth lowest number of claimants in Wales.

The number of unemployed youngsters saw a dramatic fall – down by nine percent.

The figures show that just 2.4 percent of the working age population in Carmarthenshire is claiming JSA, of these 1,747 people are male and 906 female.

“It pleases me greatly that Carmarthenshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Wales, said Councillor Kevin Madge.

“The impression I am getting from businesses in the county is that things are going in the right direction – they never move as fast as we might hope, but it’s clear that companies in the county are gearing up for more investment.

In Ammanford, there were a number of telesales appointments while 46 jobs were created at new Burger King outlets in Llanelli and in Carmarthen.

There were also new jobs at Parc Trostre and Pemberton through Card Factory and Dunelm.

During the past 12 months, the number of claimants in Carmarthenshire has fallen by 710 from 3,473 and the county is now rated 2.5% lower than the unemployment rate for Wales.

“My mantra has always been jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Cllr Madge.

“It is vital that we keep our people in the county and especially that we keep our young people so the fall in unemployment amongst young people is particularly pleasing..

“This shows that our regeneration and investment policies are working, and are putting Carmarthenshire in a much stronger position.

“Job creation remains a priority for this administration and we look forward to seeing even lower unemployment figures over the next year or so as developments such as Cross Hands come to fruition.”

Menna Davies, Employer and Partnerships Manager at Ammanford Jobcentre said: “Claimant numbers are falling, and Carmarthenshire is doing really well to maintain recruitment and opportunity especially for young people.

“We have set up youth hubs in all three JCP offices in the county and employers are regularly using our premises again for recruitment.

“We have also capitalised on the Un Sir Gar Hub premises in Llanelli to deliver group sessions and recruitment drives for our claimants

“Along with Work Experience conversions to jobs with several SME’s in the county, Carmarthenshire is doing really well.”