Tories pin blame on Labour as unemployment nudges up in Wales
The Conservatives have pinned the blame on Labour’s handling of the pandemic and the broader economy after unemployment rose in Wales but fell elsewhere in the UK.
However, the unemployment rate remains lower overall in Wales, standing at 4.8% which compares with an unemployment rate of 4.9% across the UK as a whole.
Unemployment in Wales rose by 3,000 in the three months to February to 123,000, according to latest ONS figures. Across the UK, unemployment fell by 50,000, from 5.0% to 4.9%.
Russell George said it was concerning to see unemployment rise in Wales but fall elsewhere.
“Coronavirus has devastated Wales and exposed our economic fragility after 22 years of Labour in government, and it’s very concerning to see unemployment rising in Wales but dropping elsewhere across the UK,” he said.
“We need change in Wales as we can’t afford another five years of same old Labour failing to deliver, and only the Welsh Conservatives have a plan to get our economy on the road to recovery with 65,000 new jobs and a £2 billion investment in our creaking infrastructure.”
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) said the jobs market across the UK was “broadly stable” but “remains subdued” due to the pandemic.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The latest figures suggest that the jobs market has been broadly stable in recent months after the major shock of last spring. The number of people on payroll fell slightly in March after a few months of growth.
“There are, though, over 800,000 fewer employees than before the pandemic struck, and with around five million people employed but still on furlough, the labour market remains subdued.
“However, with the prospect of businesses reopening, there was a marked rise in job vacancies in March, especially in sectors such as hospitality.”