Unemployment rate rises slightly in Wales, according to official figures

A view of a Sign on the Marylebone Jobcentre Plus office. The Bank of England today warned that parts of the economy might never recover from coronavirus - with unemployment set to rise by a million within months as GDP plunges 9.5\% - with the slump set to be the worst in a Century. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Credit: PA

The number of people who are unemployed in Wales has risen slightly, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It said in Wales in May to July, unemployment rose 3.1% when compared with February to April.

The figures, which are released quarterly, suggest the number of people in employment in Wales fell by 5,000 over the quarter.

There were 2,000 fewer jobs compared with the same time last year.

Around 695,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the coronavirus lockdown began, according to the figures.

The ONS said the rate of unemployment increased as another 36,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country.

It said the increase in unemployment has particularly impacted young people, as it revealed a 76,000 rise in the number of unemployed people aged between 16 and 24 over the past year.

The figures do not include the millions of people who are furloughed, those on zero-hours contracts but not getting shifts, or people on temporary unpaid leave from a job, as they still count as employed.

In Wales, 316,000 people were paid 80% of their salaries in June under the UK government's furlough scheme, figures from the Treasury showed.

The UK unemployment rate of 4.1% is the highest for two years. Credit: The Office for National Statistics (ONS)

ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened.

“Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose.

“The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too.

“Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work.”

Credit: PA

The unemployment rate for people over 50 in Wales has risen to 2.6%.

David Pugh, Chief Executive of PRIME Cymru, a charity that provides support for mature individuals who are economically inactive or unemployed, said the latest unemployment figures were very worrying.

"It's alarming because so many workers who are over 50 have been forced into an early retirement. Valuable knowledge and skills are going to waste, simply down to age discrimination."The worrying thing is that these figures do not even reflect the huge number of people who still count as employed but are not actually working, for example people with zero-hour contracts who are not getting shifts at the moment. In addition, the furlough scheme is coming to an end, which affects millions of over 50s."