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23 January 2013

Statement on Labour Market Statistics 2013

Reference number: PR2312013

Federation of Small Businesses

Statement on Labour Market Statistics

23 January 2013

The Federation of Small Businesses in Wales has given a cautious welcome to the drop in the number of the unemployed in Wales.  The number fell by 1,000 between September and November last year.

However there was an increase of 0.1% in the percentage of people looking for work compared to the previous three months, and the number of people who are economically inactive increased.  The percentage of people in Wales who are economically inactive is the same as it was a year previously – at  59.8%.

Welsh Policy Unit Chair for the Federation of Small Businesses, Janet Jones, said:

"Clearly the challenge is to get more people back into work and economically active, and it''s disappointing to see very little progress on this a year on.

"A recent study for the FSB by the University of Westminster shows that SMEs are key in acting as pathways to employment for the unemployed and those who have been economically inactive for a long time.

"Research shows that those between 16 and 24 years old moving into employment are more likely to work in small or medium-sized businesses compared to large firms.

"We need therefore to ensure that SMEs are continually supported by both the UK and Welsh Governments. In particular it''s imperative that Jobs Growth Wales and the DWP Work Programme can work together to offer support to SMEs but more importantly for the long-term unemployed."

ENDS