UNEMPLOYMENT figures are at their highest in Neath for six months, despite Wales-wide figures seeing an increase in those finding work.
The latest figures show that 1,486 adults in the town were claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in January 2014.
The figure is up from 1,390 claiming in August last year, and is 3.2 per cent of the population of the town looking for work.
Of those claiming, 977 are male and 509 are women.
The news came as national figures revealed record-breaking numbers of women are now in work, with an employment rate of 67.2 per cent.
The growth in overall employment also continued with the number of people in work rising 193,000 on the quarter. Youth unemployment also continued to fall.
But Neath MP Peter Hain said the good news nationally was no good for the people of the town.
“The big hike in Neath unemployment shows the Westminster Government continues to fail local people,” he said.
“Those with disabilities are being hammered with benefit cuts and there are simply not enough local jobs around.
“It is very worrying when unemployment is coming down across Britain that Neath remains a jobs black spot.”