Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Business, the Economy and Finance, Adam Price AM, has responded to today's unemployment figures by emphasising that next week's Autumn Statement must deliver high-skilled, well-paid jobs for Wales.
Unemployment in Wales is up slightly (0.1%) to 4.4% but remains lower than the UK average of 4.8%.
It is anticipated that the Chancellor will focus on infrastructure investment in his announcement next Wednesday. Adam Price AM said that is was vital that Wales gets its fair share of this cash injection in order to counter its low-wage economy, and urged the Welsh and UK governments to seize the window of opportunity to borrow to invest before interest rates rise again in light of Trump's election in the US.
Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price said:
"I welcome the fact that unemployment levels in Wales remain slightly lower than the UK average.
"However, the main issue here is the quality rather than quantity of Welsh jobs. Our low-wage economy means that one in two workers live in in-work poverty while wages here are around £50 a week lower than the UK average.
"A combination of rising inflation in the UK due to the low exchange rate, tax cuts and increased borrowing in the US following Trump’s election will see the window of opportunity of historically low interest rates soon closing.
"This chance must be seized by the Welsh and Westminster governments who should be doing all within their power to inject resources into major infrastructure projects in all parts of the UK - not just London and the South East. This would drive a more resilient and sustainable economy rather than the damaging boom and bust effects of austerity.
"With the Chancellor set to unveil his Autumn Statement in the Commons next Wednesday, it is vital that Wales is guaranteed its fair share of infrastructure investment in order to generate high-skilled, well-paid jobs that will help close the gap with the rest of the UK and tackle the root causes of our low-wage economy".