The average seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Latvia in November was 22.3 percent, meaning Latvia registered the highest unemployment rate in the European Union for the third month in a row, shows data from Eurostat, reports LETA. In 2007 and up to mid-2008, Latvia had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. In November 2009, the next highest unemployment rates were registered in Spain (19.4 percent), Estonia (15.2 percent - third quarter), Lithuania (14.6 percent - third quarter), Slovakia (13.6 percent) and Ireland (12.9 percent). The lowest unemployment rates among the EU member states were recorded in the Netherlands (3.9 percent), Austria (5.5 percent), Luxembourg (6 percent), Cyprus (6.2 percent), Slovenia (6.8 percent), Malta (7 percent) and Denmark (7.2 percent). The average seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the 27 EU member states was 9.5 percent in November, compared to 9.4 percent in October. The euro area unemployment rate reached 10 percent in November, up from 9.9 percent in October.
Public support for Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (New Era) has fallen, show results of a survey conducted by Latvijas Fakti, reports LETA. Between April and December 2009, support for the prime minister dropped from 45.7 percent to 27.2 percent. There was no substantial change in support for the parties in December. The poll is lead by Harmony Center, supported by 16.5 percent of those surveyed. The Union of the Greens and Farmers, with 6 percent support, is in second place, followed by New Era, with 5.1 percent support. Civic Union received 3.5 percent voter support; People’s Party with 3 percent; 2.7 percent for Society for Different Politics; 2.7 percent with For Human Rights in a United Latvia; the other parties came in with under 2.5 percent support. Latvijas Fakti said that 29.5 percent were undecided and 22.7 percent would not vote, adding that there is a general apathy concerning politics, which could be explained by the fact that politics is not a source of good news.