Plaid AM Says Job Market in Wales is Worse than Feared


Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood said the problems within the Welsh economy run much deeper than the recent unemployment figures suggest.

Despite unemployment figures hitting 9.3% - as high as the peak of the recession - the AM for South Wales Central has obtained figures which suggest this statistic only tells part of the story. 

Data from the Annual Population Survey shows a greater proportion of people in work are in part-time roles – 371,000 in the period from April 2010 to March 2011 compared to 359,000 in the period between April 2007 and March 2008. 

Of those working part-time, the number of people stating they could not find a full-time job rose from 38,000 in the period between April 2007 and March 2008 to 63,000 between April 2010 and March 2011.

In the same four-year period, the amount of people working full-time dropped from 972,000 to 919,000.

Ms Wood said: "The number of people without work in Wales is shocking in its own right but, when combined with these figures, a pretty grim picture for the Welsh economy emerges.

"Many more people have to settle for part-time work because full-time jobs are so scarce.  For some people, part-time work is ideal but for many others it is not.  The amount of part-time workers stating they could not find a full-time job is testament to this.

"There was also a corresponding increase in the numbers of temporary workers between April 2007 and March 2011 from 19,000 to 30,000. 

"Clearly people want a full-time job but simply cannot find one.  These figures lay waste to the argument of Ian Duncan-Smith and his millionaire cabinet colleagues in Westminster that people need to get on the bus to find a job.

"The problem is not the will of the people to work but the lack of jobs which has been exacerbated by a regressive, ideological and callous Westminster Coalition."    

She added: "While the Welsh economy has been punished badly by the global recession and the cutbacks imposed by the Con/Dems, it is clear that a bold and ambitious set of policies is needed to counteract the poor outlook for jobs and growth.

"So far, there has been little evidence from the minority Labour Government in Wales during the last six months that they are willing to go the extra mile that is needed during this crisis.

"Instead, they have let Welsh communities take the hit – and people are losing their jobs and homes as a result.

"Plaid Cymru is particularly concerned about youth unemployment which is why we have called for the Welsh Government to draw up a stimulus package for the economy as a matter of urgency."