Monthly data on employment, unemployment and economic inactivity.
Headline labour market indicators, 3 months to December 2020
The headline labour market indicators estimated from the Labour Force Survey provide an indication of how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting the labour market. Other data sources, such as the number of paid employees presented later in this headline, can also be used to produce a more complete picture.
Labour Force Survey (LFS) responses are weighted to official population projections. As the current projections are 2018-based they are based on demographic trends that pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic. ONS are analysing the population totals used in the weighting process and may make adjustments if appropriate. Rates published from the LFS remain robust; however, levels and changes in levels should be used with caution.
Wales: The employment rate in Wales was 72.2%. This is 0.2 percentage points up on the quarter and 2.2 percentage points down on the year. Last month’s figures (September to November) showed the second largest annual decrease since comparable records began in 1992 (2.4 percentage points).
UK: The UK employment rate was 75.0%. This is 0.3 percentage points down on the quarter and 1.5 percentage points down on the year. This is the largest annual decrease in the employment rate since December to February 2010.
Wales: The unemployment rate in Wales was 4.4%. This is 0.2 percentage points down on the quarter and 1.5 percentage points up on the year.
This is the second largest annual increase in the unemployment rate since July to September 2011. The largest annual increase was last month (September to November 2020) where the unemployment rate increased by 1.6 percentage points.
UK: The UK unemployment rate was 5.1%. This is 0.4 percentage points up on the quarter and 1.3 percentage points up on the year. This is the largest annual increase in the unemployment rate since October to December 2009.
Economic inactivity rate
Wales: The economic inactivity rate in Wales was 24.3%. This is 0.1 percentage points down on the quarter and 1.0 percentage points up on the year.
UK: The UK economic inactivity rate was 20.9%. This was unchanged on the quarter and 0.4 percentage points up on the year. This is the largest annual increase since March to May 2010.
Monthly paid employees and earnings from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information
The Office for National Statistics and HM Revenue & Customs publish data for Wales on payrolled employees, mean pay, aggregate pay and single month estimates for median pay.
The number of paid employees has generally increased in recent years, but has fallen during the pandemic.
Early estimates for January 2021 indicate that the number of paid employees in Wales was 1.24 million. This was a decrease of 26,100 (2.1%) on February 2020, but a slight increase of 8,500 (0.7%) compared with the lowest point in November 2020.
Datasets and interactive tools
Telephone: 0300 025 9019
Telephone: 0300 025 8099