UNEMPLOYMENT in Bradford district has fallen again - bucking the first national rise in two years.

The number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance in Bradford during June fell by 346, according to figures released yesterday by the Office of National Statistics.

It shows that 10,513 claimed unemployment benefit, down from 10,859 in May.

June's statistics break down as 6,690 males and 3,823 females claiming the benefit in Bradford. In May the numbers were 6,934 males and 3,925 females.

Diana Towler, an employer and partnership manager at the Department of Work and Pensions in Bradford, said: "Once again it is another reduction. The figure I have from last year, the overall number is down by 4,442 - which is a 30 per cent reduction.

"I think it is brilliant, it just keeps reducing month on month."

She added: "What is interesting and encouraging is that long-term unemployment has also dropped. People who have been unemployed for over 12 months, that figure has dropped by just under 2,000 in the last 12 months."

Mrs Towler also pointed to a 35 per cent reduction since June last year in the number of 18-to-24 year olds claiming Jobseekers' Allowance in Bradford district, and described it as a "positive".

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said: "The unemployment figures come out month by month but what's more significant is to look at is the longer term trend.

"For Bradford this means the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance has decreased steadily since the peak unemployment of 2011.

"However we're still not yet back to 2008 levels of employment and that means seven years of economic gloom in the country just to get back to where we started.

"Youth unemployment is a priority for us here in Bradford and that's why in spite of the cuts which the Government keep pushing on to Bradford we continue to invest in giving our young people the training and opportunities they deserve to lead successful working lives."

The biggest drop in the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance came in Bradford East, with the figure down 243 to 2,979 compared with May.

Constituency MP Imran Hussain (Lab) said: "Although I welcome a fall in unemployment in Bradford, Bradford East stands in 20th place out of all 650 UK constituencies for unemployment for 16-to-64 year olds, which is simply unacceptable.

"Many of these new jobs that are being created are also low paid and unable to provide an adequate income for families and working people, and between 2013 and 2014 we saw a rise in the number of zero-hours contracts in the region which do not provide the job security that people need."

The number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance in the other four Bradford district constituencies also dropped - Bradford South was down 70 to 2,127, Bradford West down 167 to 3,174, Shipley down 42 to 1,006, and Keighley down five to 1,227.