UNEMPLOYMENT in Bradford district has fallen again - and is down 30 per cent on this time last year.

Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance in Bradford during July fell by 197.

It showed that 10,316 people claimed unemployment benefit, down from 10,513 in June.

The numbers breakdown into 6,536 males and 3,780 females - compared to 6,690 and 3,823 in June. Across Yorkshire and Humber there is a record number of women in work.

Heather Barraclough, employer and partnership manager for Jobcentre Plus in Bradford, said: "For Bradford we are looking at a fall in the last year of 4,404. That is a 30 per cent fall on the same time last year.

"Youth unemployment is down 1,370, which is 37 per cent down on the same time last year.

"It is all looking quite good. It is very much going in the right direction. You get some seasonal variations, but we are pleased everything is going in the right direction.

"There is still work to do, that is always the case. But it shows the strategies are working."

She added: "What is pleasing nationally this month is the continual growth in permanent and full-time work. There are more opportunities coming into the city.

"You will be aware of the Broadway Centre opening later in the year, and a lot of the work we are doing at the moment is to prepare people for when the employment opportunities come along."

Mrs Barraclough also spoke of the importance of work experience, particularly for young people, and the WEcan initiative. WE stands for work experience.

"It is focusing on young people's skills and qualifications and outlining how work experience is such a valuable experience for young people to get a foot in the door.

"Employers are saying this is what we want."

In Bradford West, the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance increased four to 3,178 last month compared with June, while Keighley remained the same at 1,227.

Bradford East dropped from 2,979 to 2,872, Bradford South from 2,127 to 2,076, and Shipley from 1,006 to 963.

Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins said: "I am pleased that Keighley and Ilkley has managed to outperform other parts of the UK in job creation and retention, and for this great credit must go to local employers who have had the foresight to continue expanding their businesses and recruit new staff."