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Bradford West has fastest-growing unemployment rate
7:00am Monday 28th May 2012 in Bradford
Part of Bradford has the fastest-growing unemployment rate anywhere in the country, with one MP describing the situation as a “major tragedy”.
Bradford West has seen a 29.6 per cent increase in the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in the last year, meaning 5,392 individuals in that area alone are looking for work – 12.9 per cent of the population.
The rate of long-term unemployed claimants in that area has doubled.
The figures, from April 2011 to April 2012 contained in a House of Commons Unemployment by Constituency research paper, put Bradford West in the top ten areas out of 650 constituencies, with year-on-year increases in unemployment, along with Middlesbrough and Belfast.
Bradford East has a 20.9 per cent increase, from 4,415 to 5,336, while Bradford South has seen an increase of 22.6 per cent, with 4,046 people claiming JSA.
Bradford West MP George Galloway said: “I’ll be writing to the Prime Minister to urge him to implement measures which help the country grow, rather than this vicious programme of cutbacks which has impacted drastically on the families in my constituency.
“The six wards of my constituency harbour pockets of deprivation almost unprecedented elsewhere.
“This is a major tragedy visited on poor and vulnerable people and caused entirely by the bankers, who escaped without penalty.”
Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour MP for Bradford South, said he was concerned about Bradford going against the national trend.
“Bradford South side is where the whole economic employment is,” he said. “This is why we need to have a fresh look at how to deal with people out of work for more than 12 months.”
Kris Hopkins, Conservative MP for Keighley, said it was distressing to see young people unemployed.
“We want them to have the best possibilities and opportunities in life,” he said.
Bradford East MP David Ward said: “Some of this increase is caused by changes in the way we measure unemployment.
“Nonetheless, there clearly is still a huge problem with unemployment in the city. Particularly worrying is the increase in the numbers of long-term unemployed because all the evidence shows that being out of work for more than 12 months can have a permanent impact on wellbeing and even health.”