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Bradford MPs welcome fall in unemployment
Dole queues in Bradford shortened last month, with the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits in one area of the district falling to the lowest level in five years.
Government figures released yesterday show there were 16,980 people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance across Bradford in November – 2,459 fewer than in the same month last year, when 19,439 were signing on.
While the number of unemployed people in some areas of the district fell to the lowest level in about two years, the number of people claiming benefits in Keighley fell to the lowest number since January, 2009.
Nationally, the number of people out of work fell by 99,000 to 2.39 million in the three months to October – the lowest level in four and a half years.
However, two Bradford constituencies – Bradford East and Bradford West – remain among the top ten worst areas of the country for unemployment.
In Keighley, there were 1,913 people signing on for out-of-work benefits in November, compared with 1,840 five years ago.
Figures show there were 105 fewer claimants than in the October and 476 fewer than 12 months ago.
The constituency’s Conservative MP Kris Hopkins said: “This is very good news, particularly in the run-up to Christmas. I am particularly pleased that youth unemployment in Keighley has fallen by 0.5 per cent in the past month, and we must continue to make every effort to ensure that the trend continues downwards.”
In Bradford East, there were 4,922 people claiming out-of-work benefits last month, compared with 5,486 the year before.
Youth unemployment also fell from 1,450 last November to 1,375 this year – the lowest figure since June 2011.
However, Liberal Democrat MP David Ward said his constituency still had the eighth highest level of unemployment across the country. He said: “It’s an early Christmas present to know that unemployment is continuing to fall across my constituency and has in the main been falling gradually since the start of the year. We are now seeing a consistent reduction in unemployment. However, we should not be pulling on any party hats just yet. We cannot relax and must keep doing more to promote Bradford jobs and Bradford businesses.”
The Bradford West area saw the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance fall from 5,537 last November to 5,013 this November, with 149 fewer claimants than in October.
But the constituency has the seventh highest rate of unemployment of all constituencies across the country.
Respect MP George Galloway said: “These figures bring little comfort and no indication that the economy is healing, although any reduction at all at this time of the year, however slight, is welcome.”
In Bradford South, there were 3,429 claimants in the Bradford South area in November, compared with 3,505 in October. While in Shipley, the number of jobseekers fell for the fourth month in a row to 1,703, compared with 2,043 a year ago. Bradford South Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe said: “More needs to be done to help the long-term unemployed back into work.”
He said Labour would introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, which would get any adult out of work for more than two years, or young person out of work for a year, into a job.
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