Posted: Tue 13th Jun 2023

Wales employment rate drops amidst UK upswing

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 13th, 2023

The latest Labour Market Indicators have spotlighted a disparity between the employment situations in Wales and the rest of the UK.

According to the figures, the employment rate in Wales has dipped by 0.5 percentage points over the last quarter to 71.8%, and 2.2 percentage points annually.

Conversely, the UK’s overall employment rate has seen a rise of 0.2 percentage points over the quarter to 76.0% and a 0.3 percentage point increase on the year.

Line chart showing the employment rate in the UK has generally been higher than in Wales over the last 10 years | Source, Welsh Gov

The unemployment rate in Wales has also seen a marked increase, rising to 4.8%, a jump of 1.3 percentage points both in the quarter and on the year. The largest increase in unemployment over the past year.

Meanwhile, the UK has managed to maintain an overall stable unemployment rate of 3.8%, with a slight increase over the last quarter, yet unchanged annually.

A similar trend can be observed in the economic inactivity rates, which generally refers to those not in work and not seeking or available to work.

In Wales, the rate stands at 24.4%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points over the quarter, but up 1.1 percentage points on the year.

The UK’s economic inactivity rate stands at 21.0%, down 0.4 percentage points on the quarter and down 0.3 percentage points on the year.

The disparity extends to the number of monthly paid employees as well. Early estimates for May 2023 suggest that the number of paid employees in Wales has increased by 4,400 (0.3%) over the month to 1.31 million.

However, at the UK level, there was a greater monthly increase of 22,900 (0.1%).

These figures, compiled by the Welsh Government from the Labour Force Survey and HMRC’s Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, underscore the nuanced landscape of the UK labour market in the wake of the pandemic.

Despite these disparities, the report also reveals an encouraging trend.

The number of paid employees, which had fallen sharply during the pandemic, has not only returned to pre-pandemic levels but remained above it since July 2021. This is a sign of economic recovery and resilience, albeit at different paces across the nation.

Further detailed breakdowns, including by local authority, age, and sector, will be provided in a more comprehensive bulletin due to be published this Thursday.

 

Line chart showing the unemployment rate has decreased overall in both Wales and the UK over the last 10 years

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