Hundreds of people in Bradford are no longer among the ranks of the jobless as unemployment continues to fall across the UK. Latest data released yesterday shows the national unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent in the three months to February – down from 7.2 per cent. And for the first time since 2010, average wages have risen in real terms.

In Bradford East, there are almost 900 fewer people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance than a year ago. While in Bradford West, there has been a ‘marginal drop’ in numbers.

And in Yorkshire and Humber as a whole, the jobless total went up by 3,000, with women in particular being badly hit.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that in the year to December 2013, Bradford had an employment rate of 66.5 per cent among 16 to 64-year-olds and a jobless rate of 11.2 per cent. Just under 19,000 were claiming benefits, 5.7 per cent of the population.