A national drop in the number of young people on the dole has not had much effect in Bradford.

In the district, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance dropped by a mere 20 people in a year.

There were 5,690 claimants in this age group last month, compared to 5,710 in the same period last year.

This is despite a national drop of more than ten per cent in the number of young people signing on, Government figures released yesterday reveal.

Nationally, the number of claimants of any age also dropped by 0.2 per cent since last year. But again, this did not reflect in Bradford’s figures, where the number of claimants rose by 0.4 per cent, from 18,130 to 19,439. Bradford Council leader Coun David Green said the figures showed the Government’s national work programme was not working for the district.

He said that was why Bradford Council this year unveiled its £7.7 million Get Bradford Working programme, the largest job creation fund of any local authority in the country.

He said: “It’s not fully activated and has not had enough effect on these figures but we hope in months to come it will have some impact.”

Bradford West MP George Galloway (Respect) said the unemployment rate in his own constituency was now the seventh highest in the country.

He said: “Could there be a more damning indictment of this miserable Government’s failure to put right the economy?”

But Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) said the number of young people on Jobseeker’s Allowance could in part be explained by Bradford’s younger-than-average population.

He said: “It’s very difficult because on top of the serious situation we face with the economy, we have got a growing number of young people.”

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins (Con) welcomed a drop in youth unemployment in his constituency.

He said: “It is always good news when unemployment falls but I am particularly pleased at the fall in youth unemployment in Keighley and Ilkley.”

Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab) and Shipley MP Philip Davies (Con) were not available for comment last night.