Employment rates in Wales are up and look set to rise further as two American companies announced they are bringing 650 new jobs to Cardiff as reported on The Cardiffian earlier today.
The latest report on the Welsh labour market, produced by the Office for National Statistics, estimates employment rates are up for the third month in a row. The employment rate for those aged between 16 and 64 in Wales is now 68.5 per cent, while the UK average for this group is 70.3 per cent.
Welcoming the news is Paty Wysom, manager of Adult Guidance at Careers Wales, who said: “Unemployment rates are going down slightly and there are some vacancies coming through particularly in the call center sector.
“However, while there are more opportunities for employment, people who have not been in employment for a while struggle to find employment as quickly as those who have been in employment for a longer amount of time.
“More effort needs to be placed on those who have not been a part of the labour market for some time. We still have lots to do in Wales and we need to concentrate on helping the under 24s and over 50s.”
The overall unemployment rate in Wales has decreased by 0.7 percent to nine per cent, down from the same period a year ago. For the UK as a whole unemployment stands at 8.4 per cent, 0.5 percentage more points from the same period a year earlier.
While Wales has a higher than average unemployment rate, it is still significantly lower than rates in the north of England, the West Midlands and London. Wales and Cardiff in particular appear to have reached a state of equilibrium, with cuts and redundancies being balanced out by the creation of new jobs.
Lloyds Banking Group recently announced it is cutting 200 jobs in Cardiff and Newport while Conduit, an American call centre company, announced yesterday it will be creating 600 jobs in Cardiff.
Conduit already employs more than 1,900 staff across three centres in Cardiff city centre, Cardiff Gate and Swansea.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said Cardiff was attracting an increasing number of companies looking to create a centre for financial and professional services.
He said yesterday as the announcement was made: "This announcement is yet another indication that Welsh government policies are having a beneficial effect supporting the economy and creating jobs during these difficult times.”
Denis Creighton, chief executive of Conduit Europe, said: "We are delighted to open this new centre and create more than 600 jobs this year. Fusion Point 1 [Conduit's new centre in Cardiff] will be the flagship of our growing operation."
Meanwhile, the US-based DRIAS Transnat, which provides services for insurance companies, has said it hopes to create up to 50 jobs after choosing Cardiff as its first European base.
DRIAS Transnat will be based at the Celtic Gateway Business Park in Cardiff Bay, a move supported by a £162,000 grant from the Welsh government's economic growth fund. It will create 30 jobs initially, and hopes to expand to 50 staff within two years.
Company president Dick Votel said he welcomed support from the Welsh government and Cardiff council, adding: "In Cardiff's fast growing city region we found a rich pool of skilled professionals supported by academia."