Commenting on the labour market figures for January 2016, published Thursday by the ONS, Keith Palmer, CEO of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Today’s figures give us a ray of light at a time of major uncertainty in the Welsh economy, showing the jobs market in Wales outperforming the UK’s over the last year. This matches the findings of our Quarterly Economic Survey which showed that Welsh businesses consistently increased their workforce throughout 2015.
“However, we must remember that these figures do not take into account this week’s devastating announcement from Tata Steel, which will not only affect those being made redundant at the steelworks but will also have a knock-on effect on the wider community.
“If we want to see these positive figures to continue, the Welsh and UK Governments need to work together to help the people and businesses of Port Talbot and other affected areas through this difficult time.
“We welcome the task force that the Welsh Government has set up and urge them to take a strategic view, including fast-tracking some of the major infrastructure projects in Wales, particularly those that will use UK-produced steel. This will not only help the steel industry but will have a beneficial effect on the economy as a whole.”