The local jobs market is picking up after years in the doldrums, new figures suggest.

There has been a drop in the number of people in dole queues for the fourth month running.

And a Bradford recruitment firm says business is booming as companies start taking on permanent staff again.

Last month there were 19,259 people on Jobseekers’ Allowance in the Bradford district, a drop of nearly 1,000 since February, new Government figures show.

But it is still some way off the level seen three years ago. In June 2010, there were 14,572 claimants.

At Bradford-based recruitment company Candelisa People, managing director Jane Vincent said far more companies were now coming to them seeking new permanent staff.

She said: “The permanent market, which has been slightly stagnant over the last few years, has really started to pick up.

“People who might have utilised temporary members of staff are now converting them to permanent.

“We have had a 25 per cent increase in the number of permanent vacancies coming through, since January.

“Last year it had been increasing, but this year companies who have had freezes on, or who said they were not looking at recruiting, have all started to recruit again.”

She said permanent jobs now accounted for half of their work, whereas it had recently been as low as a fifth.

She said: “It’s better for us and it’s obviously better for the individuals. People want a permanent job - they can start spending money and they have that reassurance that they have got a proper job.

“Let’s just hope that this is a positive turn in things for Bradford.”

But talk of a recovery in the jobs market was dismissed by union bosses.

TUC regional secretary Bill Adams said: “While any drop in unemployment is welcome, by no means are we on a sustainable path to recovery.”

He said unemployment across the Yorkshire region was still 19,000 higher than it was two years ago, and that there soon would be more public sector job losses to factor in because of spending cuts on their way.