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Welsh Unemployment at Record Low of 2.9%

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New figures show jobs market ‘in fine form’ as unemployment drops in Wales

Unemployment in Wales has fallen to a record low of 2.9% in October to December, compared with 3.8% for the UK. During this period there were 45,000 people looking for work, 14,000 fewer than the previous three months.

Responding to the latest official labour market statistics, Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Director of IoD Wales, said:

“The UK jobs market ended last year in fine form with employment up by 0.5% to 74.4% in Wales with unemployment down to 2.9% , but 2020 may be more challenging for employers.

“The labour market has shown significant resilience in the face of uncertainty in recent years. Businesses have continued onboarding new staff to bolster their output, at a time when investing in machinery and technology has proven too risky. High employment has been a boon for the economy, which has benefitted from the uplift to household incomes.

“Despite the slight uptick in vacancies, the jobs boom cannot last forever. As more and more workers enter employment, it becomes harder for firms to recruit the employees they need, with a particular dearth in certain skill-sets. The difficulty in finding suitable staff is underscored by the high number of postings, which business leaders will face an uphill battle to fill. At the same time, smaller firms, which employ the bulk of the workforce, will struggle to raise pay packets further given a slew of hefty costs.

“Business leaders in Wales are eager to see sustained and prolonged investment across all regions to unite and level up the country. That’s what will really boost the jobs market here in Wales.”