A bleak picture for Wales

Economy People walking past a job centre
Image from Bevan Foundation's media library
NewsNovember 17th, 2011

The latest unemployment figures present a bleak picture for Wales – The figures for Wales released today show that almost 134,000 of the working age population are out of work, up by over 11,000 on the quarter.  This represents 9.4% of the working age population who are now out of work in Wales – up from 8% at the beginning of this year.  The figures show that unemployment has been rising faster in Wales than it has in England, which means solutions need to be found in Wales to meet our very specific needs.

The Welsh Government have today announced that further funding will be made available to businesses to enable them to create new jobs.   This follows the announcement last month of the Jobs Growth Wales programme – which provides young people with a job for a sixth month period and is expected to create 4,000 jobs per year over a 3 year period.

Given these decisions by the Welsh Government, it seems important to ask if making more money available to businesses to create jobs is the best solution to tackling unemployment in the long term?  Is it more effective than other ways of stimulating growth, such as improving transport, reducing regulation, investing in universities, encouraging entrepreneurs?   What specific combination of these solutions might be best?   Without robust and longitudinal evidence we simply cannot say.  More research is needed to better understand the impact of different policies aimed at reducing unemployment.


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