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Russia unemployment lowest over past 12 years

October 12, 2012, 14:11 UTC+3

The lower unemployment level over the past 12 years has been recorded in Russia

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The lower unemployment level over the past 12 years has been recorded in Russia. By the end of the year of the number of unemployed in the country is expected to be less than a million. However, against the background of the general decline in unemployment it is growing in some regions.

The lowest unemployment rate over the past 12 years has been recorded in Russia - one million and two thousand people, writes the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. Head of the Federal Service for Labour and Employment Yuri Gertsy announced at a press conference.

However, he referred only to registered unemployment. The total unofficial unemployment in the country, according to the calculation methodology of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is 5.4 million. According to forecasts of Yuri Gertsy, the official unemployment rate by the end of the year will drop below one million people. And the following year it can drop to 1.4 million, according to an annual average rate. Experts say that the record low official unemployment figures can testify both to a real alignment of the economy and reducing tensions on the labour market, as well as a to a simple “understatement” of the real situation, the newspaper notes. The fact is that after the transfer of authority in the sphere of employment to the country’s regions this year, some of them began to pay less attention to the problems of unemployment than the federal government had paid. Accordingly, people could just stop contacting the employment service or artificial barriers to their registration as unemployed could appear, so that to make the indicators in the region “beautiful.”

“As the economy is at the growth stage, companies need more employees, and so at present we have on market the dictate of the employee, not the employer,” head of the Institute of Social Policy at the Higher School of Economics Sergei Smirnov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily. “The macroeconomic situation is now calm: GDP is growing, and it would be strange if the number of unemployed was growing along with it. And we have no huge hidden unemployment. Rather, there is hidden employment in the ‘grey’ sector that does not pay taxes.”

Meanwhile, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily notes, indicators among the country’s regions differ significantly. In particular, according to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), unemployment in almost one-third of the country’s regions has not reduced, but increased in 2012, compared to the average indicators in the 2007-2008 period. Irina Vorobyeva, an expert of the project evaluation department at 2K Audit Business Consulting / Morison International, believes that the low unemployment rates in Russia is a significant achievement, especially considering the fact that unemployment is not declining, but growing in most developed and developing countries. “But we have to understand that these numbers are kind of ‘an average hospital temperature’,” she warns. “In some Russian regions the unemployment level is egregious. The traditionally high unemployment rates are in Altai, in the Tuva Republic. The economy of these regions is underdeveloped or is developing one-sidedly, and it cannot provide jobs for all the population. And the situation in these regions is practically not changing for the better, which is most disturbing.”



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