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  1. ITV Report

Unemployment unchanged in the West Country

Unemployment stands at 5.8% in the south west Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Unemployment in the South West remained unchanged in the three months to August.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 158,000 people were unemployed in the region between June and August.

The region's unemployment rate remained at 5.8%.

Nationwide, the number of people in work has reached a record high, although more are in part-time jobs than ever.

Youth unemployment fell across the country by 62,000 to 957,000, the lowest figure for more than a year.

It's a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before. Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170,000 fewer people on the main out-of-work benefits than in May 2010.

The big fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, but we know this remains a challenge, which is why we have the £1 billion Youth Contract offering nearly 500,000 work experience places, apprenticeships and wage incentives to help young people get a job.

– Mark Hoban, Minister for Employment