More than 10,000 people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in Wakefield - highest figure since 1997

Wakefield Job Centre.
Wakefield Job Centre.

The number of people claiming jobless benefits in Wakefield has risen above 10,000 for the first time since 1997.

There were 10,180 people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the district in February, up by 465 on the previous month and the highest for 16 years.

An extra 240 people aged 18-24 joined dole queues around the district last month.

And 535 young adults in the district have now been on the dole for a year or more.

The figures were released as chancellor George Osborne delivered his budget in parliament.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said the government should take action to boost employment.

Ms Creagh said: “On Budget day this is a stark reminder of the government’s failed economic plan to create jobs.

“People in Wakefield are losing their jobs and struggling to make ends meet because of a flat-lining economy.”

Nationally, unemployment rose to 2.52m in the three months to January, figures from the Office for National Statistics Show.

The number of people aged 16-24 out of work UK-wide rose to 993,000 as the overall youth unemployment rate rose to 21.2 per cent.

The figures showed workers’ earnings were falling in real terms.

Wages rose by 1.2 per cent but inflation was higher at 2.7 per cent.