THE number of unemployed people in Bradford has jumped by more than 80 per cent since the first lockdown, new figures have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that unemployment benefit claims have jumped from 17,090 in March to 30,940 in October - a rise of 81.0 per cent.

Separate Government figures show that Universal Credit claims across Bradford reached 60,924 last month, a total rise of 78.1 per cent since March and the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

The claimant count rate has remained steady at 9.4 per cent, from September to October.

Analysis by Centre for Cities indicates that while Bradford is among those cities where the claimant count was unchanged, there were some cities and large towns where the rate actually fell.

Centre for Cities also highlights that these worst affected places are "entering the second lockdown in a much weaker position than the first".

"Limitations of the claimant count data aside, what is clear when looking at these figures compared to March is that the situation is much worse now than what it was seven months ago, everywhere.

"At the start of the first lockdown, there were approximately 1.2 million people claiming Universal Credit or Job Seekers Allowance. Now it is 2.6 million – and given the increase in the official figures for unemployment, it’s likely much of this increase is linked to unemployment too."

It adds that "no part of the country has been left unaffected".

"As a result, at the start of a new lockdown, these claimant count figures no longer paint a clear North/South divide picture. While many places with weaker economies continue to have high levels of unemployment related claims – such as Birmingham, Bradford and Hull – others, like Mansfield and Barnsley now have below average claimant count rates while some otherwise stronger economies are struggling – think of Slough and Crawley but also London and Manchester for example."

At Parliamentary constituency level, all areas have seen significant rises since March, with Shipley the highest at 101.9 per cent.

However, three constituencies have seen a small fall in the number of claimants,in Keighley, Shipley and Bradford West.

Tracy Othen, of the DWP in Bradford, said there was still a lot of support locally for people looking for work, including interest from local companies bidding to offer placements as part of Government's Kickstart scheme.

She added that recruitment was also underway locally for work coaches in Job Centres, after the Government pledged to double the number of such positions nationally.