BRADFORD is at risk of surging poverty without targeted action in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, new research shows.

The city sits 20th in a list of local authorities that are projected to see the greatest increases in unemployment by the end of this year, while at the same time experiencing the weakest flow of new job vacancies.

The data was collated by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which is a charity that conducts and funds research aimed at solving poverty.

It estimates that Bradford's potential peak unemployment rate could reach 17 per cent.

The table also shows that there are currently 22 people out of work per job vacancy in the city.

Bradford is the only local authority in West Yorkshire to appear in the list, but Hull features in 17th with a potential peak unemployment rate of 17 per cent and 26 people battling it out for each job vacancy.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation based the potential peak unemployment rate on three elements.

This included, the rise places have so far seen in the number of people claiming out of work benefits (the claimant count), the share of jobs within an area pre-COVID-19 in the hardest hit sectors and the share of people currently on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The charity has real-time information in terms of job vacancies.

These two measures are then used to create a combined score, which gives a location its ranking in the list.

The table shows that not every area has been affected equally by the economic consequences of COVID-19.

For this reason, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation is calling on the Government to work with devolved and local Governments, as devising a one size-fits-all strategy at a national level will not be effective at overcoming place-specific challenges.

Dave Innes, Head of Economics at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “It can only be right that the places hardest hit by the ongoing economic crisis are the first priority of the recovery.

"Towns and cities which are already on the brink need urgent support to prevent a surge in poverty caused by rising unemployment.

“There is no one-size-fits-all recovery and many parts of Britain can’t afford the price of inaction.

"The Government has the chance to provide the skills and opportunities each part of our country needs to thrive if it targets investment where it is needed most.”

The charity specifically proposed the following measures to help avoid this surge in poverty in certain areas:

• Bring forward investments in targeted support, skills, and retraining schemes, to benefit the groups of workers in sectors most at risk of job losses. This should particularly focus on, adults over 25 with fewer formal qualifications, women and BAME communities.

• Go further on its job creation programmes so that they better reflect the scale of risk facing many groups of workers.

• Ensure the much-promised Shared Prosperity Fund provides additional targeted support to boost employment and opportunity in our weakest economies.