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Russia’s officially registered unemployment tops 1 million — minister

March 27, 2015, 13:29 UTC+3 YAROSLAVL

There's no data on about 15 million Russians whose employment status is not officially recorded

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© Valery Matytsin/TASS

YAROSLAVL, March 27. /TASS/. Russia’s officially registered unemployment rate has exceeded 1 million people, Labor Minister Maxim Topilin said on Friday.

The jobless rate stood at 1,000,145 people as of March 17, Topilin said on the sidelines of the All-Russian forum of social workers.

"This is a small growth but the figure has risen beyond one million. This is, of course, a disquieting fact," he said.

The labor minister also said the Russian government had made a timely decision on Thursday to allocate additional funds to regions for anti-crisis measures.

Meanwhile, Federal Labor and Employment Service (Rostrud) Deputy Head Mikhail Ivankov said on Thursday about 15 million Russians were receiving "envelope wages" without officially registering their employment or making any deductions to the Pension Fund.

"In our estimates, about 11% of people are fully receiving their wages in envelopes today, i.e. they’re working without officially registering their employment," Ivankov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV Channel.

"About another 15-16% are people who are registered as employed but receive some part of their wages officially and the remaining part illegally," the labor official said.

About 15 million people of Russia’s 76-million workforce do not pay any pension dues, he said.

"But it is certainly incorrect to say that all these people work in the shadow sector," Ivankov said, adding this category also included housewives, citizens working outside Russia and persons engaged in various crafts.

Frequently, employers that breach the labor legislation and pay wages in envelopes without the need to make any social security tax payments gain competitive advantages on the labor market, the official said.

Russia’s Federal Labor and Employment Service observed the same trend during the economic crisis of 2008. At that time, the number of people receiving wages officially in Russia decreased by 13% to 60% of the country’s population, the labor official said.

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