UNEMPLOYMENT in the district has risen slightly - at odds with the regional and national picture - according to the latest figures released yesterday.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that there were 9,585 people claiming unemployment benefits across the Bradford district in May.

This is an increase of 0.5 per cent, or 50 people, on the month before.

This is also a new two and a half-year high, as the last time unemployment was higher was in September 2015, when the figure was 9,690.

The claimant count remained the same at 2.9 per cent, compared to the slight fall in the regional figure at 2.5 per cent and the static 2.2 per cent nationally.

The data from the ONS includes those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit benefits principally for unemployment reasons.

Tracy Othen, for JobCentre Plus, said: “In Bradford the claimant count for those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit has fallen by 51 per cent since 2013 and youth unemployment in particular has fallen by 61 per cent during the that time which is positive.

“As always we work with our claimants and partners to offer support in gaining skills to move into employment and in July we are particularly focusing on jobs in the NHS through our information week starting July 9 called ‘Jobs with a Pulse’ where we will be promoting the roles within the NHS through information and activities in the jobcentres.”

In three of the district’s five constituencies, the number of claimants rose. Keighley saw a 2.2 per cent jump, of 25 people, to reach a total of 1,160 claimants last month.

An extra 30 people claimed unemployment benefits in Bradford East, a rise of 1.2 per cent compared to the previous month, at 2,635 claimants.

Meanwhile in Shipley there were 955 claimants, a rise of 1.1 per cent or 10 people.

Both Bradford South and Bradford West witnessed a fall of 0.3 per cent, a drop of five and ten people respectively, to reach 1,975 and 2,860 claimants.

In Yorkshire and Humber the May claimant count dropped by 508 on previous month to 84,789, a fall of 0.6 per cent.

Nationally the figure was 886,216, a fall of 7,690 or 0.9 per cent, over the same time period.

Separate figures also show that Britain has a joint record high employment rate of 75.6 per cent with 32.39 million people now in work.

The unemployment rate is now 4.3 per cent, down 0.4 per cent since last year – with the number of people out of work falling by 115,000.