Harrow unemployment figures have risen by nearly 50 per cent over the past year, new figures reveal.

Government figures show rises of 46.9 and 41.9 per cent in the Parliamentary constituencies of Harrow East and Harrow West respectively.

This takes the total across the borough for January 2009 to 3,247, up from 2,246 in the same month last year.

Harrow East has the higher rate with 1,766 on the dole with 1,481 in wealthier Harrow West.

The totals cover only those claiming Jobseekers Allowance and the actual total could be higher still.

Harrow East is the constituency of Employment Minister Tony McNulty who warned earlier this week that the latest figures were 'very disappointing'.

He told an interviewer yesterday: 'I have no doubt things are going to get worse before they get better'.