Unemployment: Wales sees highest rise across UK

Unemployment: Wales sees highest rise across UK

Wales experienced the steepest rise in unemployment between August and October of any nation or region of the UK.

The rate of unemployment is now 4.6% in Wales and 4.9% across the UK as a whole, according to the latest official figures. Unemployment in Wales rose by 22,000 compared with the previous three months.

The rate of people not available for work is now at 24% – these are working age people who may be full-time carers or students, on long-term sick or have taken early retirement.

This is compared with 20.8% for the UK.

That means there were 459,000 “economically inactive” people in Wales, 8,000 more than in July, and 22,000 more than the same time last year.

Before the pandemic, Wales had seen low levels of unemployment.

Across the UK there are now 1,692,000 unemployed, which is 411,000 more than the same period a year ago.

The Office for National Statistics said the latest figures for the numbers of people paying tax in the UK showed there were 800,000 fewer on the payroll in November than in February, and one third of those people had been working in the hospitality sector.

This is the first time there has been a sector breakdown for the number of people on company payrolls.

They confirmed hospitality and food has been the most severely affected, followed by wholesale and retail and manufacturing.

Furloughed workers are counted as employed in the statistics.

From August, the UK government’s Covid-19 pandemic furlough scheme began to reduce support paid to employers to pay workers.

Firms made more workers redundant in anticipation of the end of the furlough scheme, which was originally supposed to finish at the end of October.

It will now last until 31 March.

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