Welsh unemployment fall ‘thanks to UK Government’ say Conservatives
The 6,000 fall in unemployment in Wales in the second quarter of 2021 was down to the UK Government, according to the Welsh Conservatives.
The Office for National Statistics said there were 62,000 unemployed people at the end of June, a fall of 6,000 since March. 68,000 workers however remain on furlough, with the scheme ending at the end of September.
Economy minister Vaughan Gething said they were “pulling every lever possible to back Welsh businesses during this incredibly challenging time”.
But Shadow Economy Minister Paul Davies MS said that the fall was owed to the UK Government’s vaccine procurement and business support.
“These are some welcome economic figures that show the labour market is beginning to recover after a difficult 18 months,” he said.
“We know this recovery is due to the easing made possible thanks to the UK Government’s vaccine procurement and business support delivered in the form of grants, furlough, and self-employment support schemes.
“However, there are hurdles still to overcome and we are still behind pre-pandemic employment levels, so we should be weary of a premature celebration.
“Now we need to ensure businesses get what they need from the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay – which is responsible for economic development – as we move into the post-Covid world and aim for a rejuvenated economy.”
4.1% of over-16 year-olds in Wales are unemployed, lower than the UK unemployment rate of 4.7% .
Vaughan Gething, who was appointed to the economy role after May’s Senedd election, said that the figures were “encouraging”.
“However, we know there are still some real challenges facing the Welsh economy as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and the UK’s departure from the EU,” he said “We continue to pull every lever possible to back Welsh businesses during this incredibly challenging time.
“As part of our efforts to kick-start a strong economic recovery, we want to help create new jobs in the industries of the future, providing work and training opportunities to people across Wales. In particular, we have a clear focus on supporting young people into work.
“That’s why we are committed to delivering our Young Person’s Guarantee, which will give everyone under 25 in Wales the offer of work, education, training, or self-employment. We’re also committed to creating 125,000 all-age apprenticeships, giving people the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential.
“This Welsh Government is committed to helping to build a stronger, greener and more prosperous economy, in a fairer Wales for everyone.”