UNEMPLOYMENT among young people has more then halved in the last five years, beating the UK figure.

That is according to the latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions, which says there has been a 54 per cent drop in unemployment among 18 to 24 year olds in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in the last five years.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr’s youth unemployment rate has fallen 54 per cent - below the UK figure of 40 per cent.

The drop has been attributed to the new employment opportunities offered at the new Cross Hands Business Park, as well as a buoyant jobs market across the county.

A spokesperson for the department said: “The Jobcentres within Carmarthenshire have been very proactive with supporting recruitment for the various retail and hospitality outlets at the new Cross Hands Business Park.

“We have also held various employment events at all three sites during the last month to support employers who are currently recruiting and enable customers to meet those employer directly.”

The unemployment rates for all people across Carmarthen East and Dinefwr have been falling.

In the last year, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen seven per cent.

Since 2012, there are 40 per cent less claimants in the constituency.

The spokesperson said: “There’s great news in Wales, where the unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points on the quarter to a new record low of 4 per cent, and women’s unemployment has fallen by 23,000 since 2010.”

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said: “Our economy is helping to create full time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the UK the chance of securing a reliable income.

“We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.

“That’s great progress and we’re determined to help more people flourish in the world of work.

“For example we’ve launched our new returnship programme to help more women get into good jobs after taking time out, and to keep their career progressing.”

The statistics also show there are a near record 783,000 vacancies in the UK at any one time.