JOBLESS figures in Keighley have soared in the past year.

According to latest Government statistics, the number of people in the constituency – which includes Ilkley – claiming unemployment-related benefits has risen by 10.4 per cent to 1,940 compared to May last year.

In Shipley constituency there was an 8.3 per cent rise, to 1,428 claimants.

The new data, known as the alternative claimant count, has been calculated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Tracy Othen, partnership manager for the DWP in Bradford, said the higher figures were expected because they now fully factored in Universal Credit – which was replacing a range of different benefits.

She added: “Overall the alternative claimant count statistics show a positive picture for Bradford district, with a 32 per cent decrease from five years ago. Our teams are continually working to create opportunities to support our claimants and in the coming months we have arranged events to support people with finding work.”