Press release

Wales has ended a record breaking year of employment.

Employment levels at the end of 2016 are higher than they were at the end of 2015.

Image of people working

Employment levels at the end of 2016 are higher than they were at the end of 2015. During 2016 Wales has experienced record levels of employment, over the year the level has increased by 39,000, according to new statistics out today.

The unemployment level has decreased by 21,000 over the year with the number claiming benefits down by 1,200; this remains lower than the UK average.

Headlines from today’s Labour Market Statistics include:

  • Over the year, the level of employment increased by 39,000 and the rate was up 2.3 percentage points. Over the quarter, in Wales employment is down by 8,000.

  • Over the year, the level of unemployment decreased by 21,000 and the rate was down 1.4 percentage points. The unemployment rate in Wales now stands at 4.3 per cent which is 0.5 percentage points lower than the rate for the UK as a whole. Over the quarter, the unemployment level is up 2,000 and the rate is up by 0.1 percentage points to 4.3 per cent.

  • The claimant count fell 200 between October and November and fell 1,200 over the year. The rate stands at 2.9 per cent.

  • Over the year, the economic inactivity level decreased by 24,000 and the rate was down 1.2 percentage points. Economic inactivity is up 2,000 over the quarter.

  • Over the year, the total employment for the UK increased by 342,000 and the rate by 0.5 percentage points. Total employment for the UK fell by 6,000 over the quarter.

  • Total UK unemployment decreased by 16,000 over the quarter to 1.616 million, the rate was unchanged and stands at 4.8 per cent. Over the year, the unemployment level fell by 103,000 and the rate by 0.3 percentage points. Total UK unemployment decreased by 16,000 over the quarter.

Alun Cairns, the Secretary of State for Wales, said:

It is great to end the year with Wales having experienced record levels of employment. The figures today are a testament to Wales’ ability to create the climate where businesses can thrive and are confident about the opportunities facing them.

This coupled with the announcement that the Aston Martin’s new manufacturing facility at St Athan in Wales received the green light today shows that businesses have the confidence to expand in Wales. There is more work to do but we will look forward to 2017 with renewed optimism.

Published 16 December 2016