Employment remains lower in the UK than before the pandemic, new analysis shows as Labour accused the Conservatives of “failing” to get people back to work.
The research on official figures up to May showed the employment rate is lower now than it was in nine out of the 12 regions and nations pre-pandemic.
But the Conservatives pointed out that Labour-run Wales was among those experiencing the deepest dip since December 2019.
London had the largest fall with 80,000 fewer in employment in a more than 2% fall since before Covid-19 struck, according to the analysis by Labour.
The East Midlands and the South West also experienced large drops, while the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber and the West Midlands were up.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Britain is the only G7 country to have a lower employment rate than before the pandemic – and the blame for that lies squarely with this Tory Government.
“While the Tories are out of ideas and failing on getting people back to work, Labour has a mission to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7.”
But employment minister Guy Opperman claimed Labour’s track record shows they “can never be trusted to get more people into work”.
“Labour-run Wales has the highest unemployment in the UK and no Labour government has left office with unemployment lower than when they took office,” he said.
A Government spokesman insisted they were “leaving no stone unturned to help everyone succeed in work”.
“Our drive to get more people working across the country is paying off – employment is at a near-record high with four million more people in jobs than in 2010 and inactivity falling by 360,000 since the peak of the pandemic,” he said.