NEW figures show that a quarter of people in the district are out of work and have not recently been searching for a job.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows 85,229 people aged 16 to 64 in Bradford district were classed as ‘economically inactive’ as of March this year.

The figure equates to 25.6 per cent of people in that age bracket – up from 23.2 per cent a year before.

The statistics also show that 22,236 people were claiming unemployment-related benefits, including Universal Credit and Jobseekers' Allowance, giving the area a claimant rate of 6.6 per cent.

A spokesperson for the district's Chamber of Commerce says: “We know that there are far fewer people in the labour pool than there were pre-Covid. The latest figures are disappointing but unsurprising.

“That said, there are increasingly attractive opportunities out there right now and lots of good work is also underway to match people of all ages to those opportunities.

“For example, Bradford’s Employment & Skills Board is currently reviewing its strategy and actions with all relevant partners.

“It’s no easy task to just increase the economically active percentage of local people, and so we need to continue working hard with stakeholders to do just that.”

Bradford Council has highlighted how it's trying to get residents back into employment.

Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, says: “One of our priorities as a council is to support people into work. A key way that we do this is through the SkillsHouse partnership.

“SkillsHouse is a collaboration of organisations across the Bradford district that works with people of all ages, supporting and inspiring them to get into work and training, and helping them to overcome a wide range of barriers they might have to reaching their potential.

“It also works with employers to help them source talent locally.

“SkillsHouse worked with almost 37,000 residents from June 2022 to June this year.

“There are different reasons people are economically inactive. Many are raising children, caring for family or have health issues so we also work to support employers with flexible working practices that can make it easier for people facing these issues to find roles that match their personal circumstances.

“We're committed to supporting people who are economically inactive to get into the workforce.

“Anyone needing advice and support should get in touch with SkillsHouse through its website,"