Figures for children in long-term unemployed homes in Wales worsen while rest of UK improves, ONS data shows

The proportion of children in Wales living in long-term unemployed homes is above the UK average, ONS data shows.

The data looks at children living in homes in which all those over the age of 16 have either never been in work or have been unemployed for more than 12 months.

For Wales this figure was 11.6% against a UK average of 9.3%.

The data shows that in 2016, the number of children in long-term unemployed homes in England fell by 88,000, in Scotland the number fell by 3,000, and for Northern Ireland the decrease was 2,000.

Against this downward trend Wales saw numbers rise by 1000 children.

Meanwhile, figures for children in workless homes in Wales – where all persons over 16 have been registered as unemployed or economically inactive for 12 months or less – were just as damning.

For Wales the proportion was 13.9% - a real terms year-on-year increase of 1000 children. But, again, in England and Scotland this number had declined over the same period by 54,000 and 2,000, respectively.

Commenting on the data, Russell George AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Economy Secretary, said:

“We know that children growing up in working households do better in school and are more likely to be in work in adult life, so it’s disappointing to see Wales falling behind in this respect against an improving picture elsewhere across the UK.

“The UK Conservative Government are already taking firm steps to stimulate the economy, bringing more than three million people into work since 2010, but these efforts aren’t being matched here in Wales by the Labour administration.

“Wales now has the lowest take home pay in the UK and is the least productive among the four home nations.

“The Welsh Government needs to at last heed our calls to use the devolved levers available to them and improve conditions for business, so that the economy can grow and more high quality jobs can be created.”