Unemployment in Wales: Slight rise to 3.1%

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The rate of unemployment in Wales in May to July rose slightly compared with February to April to 3.1%.

The quarterly figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest the number of people in employment in Wales fell by 5,000 over the quarter.

Compared with the same time last year there were 22,000 fewer jobs.

The UK unemployment rate of 4.1% is the highest for two years – the biggest fall in employment was among those aged between 16 and 24.

After Northern Ireland, Wales had the second highest rate of economic inactivity at 22.9%, up 0.6 percentage points on last year.

These are people of working age not looking for work because they are full-time carers or students, they are on long-term sick, or they have taken early retirement.

The figures do not include the millions of people who are furloughed, those on zero-hours contracts but not getting shifts, or people on temporary unpaid leave from a job, as they still count as employed.

In June, 316,500 employees in Wales were paid 80% of their salaries under the UK government’s furlough scheme, figures from the Treasury showed.

Some 695,000 UK workers have disappeared from the payrolls of British companies since March, when the coronavirus lockdown began.

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