Harmony Center was still the most popular political party in Latvia in January with a rating of 19.8 percent, according to a public opinion survey carried out by Latvijas fakti and published in the daily Diena on Feb. 2. The support for Harmony Center has decreased significantly, as its rating in November 2010 was 26.6 percent. 19.4 percent of respondents said in January that they support the political alliance Unity, whilst the Union of Greens and Farmers remains third in popularity with a rating of 14.5 percent. Six percent of eligible Latvian voters said that they would vote for All for Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK if the election were held in January, whilst For a Good Latvia would receive 2.2 percent of the vote. Seventeen percent of respondents said that they had not yet decided which party to vote for, whereas 16.5 percent said that they would not go to vote.
The registered unemployment rate in Latvia has increased to 14.5 percent at the end of January, says the head of the State Employment Agency Baiba Pasevica, reports LETA. “It is a slight increase, similar to the same period in previous years,” said Pasevica and added that currently there are very few available jobs, just 2,400. Pasevica said that the “100 lats” employment program will be extended to June 30, 2012, however, the amount paid will be reduced to 80 lats, and working hours may also be reduced to six, instead of the usual eight. 38,000 people are currently receiving unemployment benefits.