A Member of the Senedd spoke of his pride after it was revealed that unemployment in his constituency has fallen significantly in the past decade.
In the Senedd last week, Clwyd South MS Ken Skates told was by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething that the unemployment rate was 3.7% - down from 6.4% in 2013.
Mr Skates said: “It really is quite incredible and demonstrates how relentless the Welsh Government has been in creating job opportunities in Clwyd South and across Wales.”
Mr Skates expressed his concerns that the loss of "millions upon millions of pounds of EU funding and the crashing of the UK economy by Tory Ministers" could impact future job creation in Clwyd South.
However, he says it’s testament to local businesses and local people that his constituency is outperforming other areas of the UK.
“The unemployment rate in Wales continues to track below the UK average, and Clwyd South continues to have a lower rate than the Welsh average,” said Mr Skates.
“Considering we have suffered a decade of austerity and recession, and a pandemic, it’s really encouraging to see our area performing comparatively well.”
Mr Skates, a former Economy Minister, said crucial support from the Welsh Government to key employers – including Pat’s Coaches, The Plassey Leisure Park, Neatcrown, Read Construction and Charles Owen in Rhostyllen – during the height of the pandemic helped safeguard ‘hundreds, if not thousands’ of local jobs.
He also said previous Welsh Government initiatives such as Jobs Growth Wales have helped people into work in Wrexham and Denbighshire.
But he added: “While I welcome these figures, we remain in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and local unemployment is still higher than we would like. It’s not a cause for wild celebrations, and I’m certainly not saying everything is rosy, but I’m proud of what the Welsh Government has done to protect jobs in Clwyd South and I’m proud of our local businesses for continuing to withstand the storm.”
Mr Skates believes "chronic under-funding from Westminster" is also stymying what the Welsh Government can do to build on the strong foundations laid in recent years.
Mr Gething told the Senedd: “I’m deeply concerned about the choices made by the UK Government, because they leave Wales short. Newsnight recently undertook an investigation where they thought the gap might be as much as £1.4bn.
“The UK Government haven't listened to us, they haven’t listened to businesses. If only we had a UK Government on the same wavelength, prepared to invest in the future in a collaborative way, we could ensure that we make even further progress in creating goodquality employment in Clwyd South and the rest of Wales.”