The number of people claiming out-of-work benefit in the district rose by 571 to its highest for almost a year last month, latest figures show.
There were 9,722 people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in Wakefield in January, up from 9,151 the previous month, and the highest since March 2012.
After falling over the past year, the number of people on the dole in the district is rising again and is at levels not seen since 1997.
The latest figures were released after jobs were cut in the district by retailers including Comet and Jessops after they went bust.
Music retailer HMV, which is in administration, is also closing its store in Wakefield City Centre and dozens of staff are set to lose their jobs at Print firm Bezier.
Nationally, overall unemployment fell by 14,000 to 2.5m in the three months to December, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The number of people claiming JSA UK-wide fell by 12,500 to 1.54m.