Russell Goodway, the cabinet member for economy on Cardiff Council, told ITV Cymru Wales' Sharp End programme that Wales' largest local authority would also be struggling to balance the books after cuts to funding in the Welsh Government's Draft Budget.
He said: "We employ 10,000 full-time equivalent, excluding teachers. I doubt by the time we get to 2017 that half of those people will be working for the council."
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Helping young people 'earn, learn or serve' is among the policies Plaid Cymru will focus on ahead of the next election.