Unemployment ranges from 1.5% in Moscow to 27.2% in Ingushetia – Rosstat

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. June 23 (Interfax) – Russian unemployment in May continued to vary widely by federal district, when the highest rate 3.4 times greater than the lowest, and by region, where the highest was 18 times greater than the lowest, Rosstat reported. Unemployment declined to 5.2% in May from 5.3% in April, 5.4% in March and 5.6% in February and January. […]

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Russia Still Migrant Magnet Even as Wages Stay Below China’s

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – April 19, 2017) The vast pool of labor across Russia’s porous borders is relieving strains in the labor market, helping drain the economy of inflationary pressure as it accelerates after almost two years of recession. A steady flow of arrivals has continued even as shrinking wages and Russia’s worst currency crisis since 1998 […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Vice-premier: Russia has a unique phenomenon – workers are officially poor”

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Olga Golodets speaks out about worrying trend in the country: despite having regular jobs, millions of people are stuck below the poverty line due to poor wages. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – March 16, 2017) Russian Vice-Premier Olga Golodets has highlighted the fact that alarmingly low wages in the country are keeping people with regular jobs below the […]

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Russians Work Far More Hours but Far Less Productively than Most Other Nations, OECD Says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 22, 2017) Russians work far more hours per year than do most other nations, but they are far less productive in terms of their contribution to their country’s GDP than are the latter, according to data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD data show, “Ogonyek” […]

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For Russia’s Labor Migrants, a Life on the Edge; In slum settlements on the outskirts of Moscow, foreign workers are adjusting to the realities of Russia’s economic crisis.

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Kupfer, Bradley Jardine – November 4, 2016) Not so long ago, the migrant population of Chelobityevo in northern Moscow lived in fear of the police. These were times when uniformed officers would descend on the village unannounced, beating and arresting undocumented workers in their path. Once, migrants were forced to strip naked in freezing […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s renewed might rests on weak economic foundations. Putin bravado does not extend to modernisation of the economy” – Financial Times/Neil Buckley

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

… the gap between the image … Putin portrayed … and the reality was exposed by a sobering assessment of Russia’s economy by another senior official … further emphasised by a draft budget … envisaging a 27 per cent cut in defence spending …. the official … made it clear how Russia’s ambitions clash with its capabilities. … western sanctions […]

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Moscow Times: Russian Middle Class Has Not Felt Impact of Economic Crisis

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 29, 2016) Russia’s middle class has not yet felt the impact of the economic crisis, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday citing a report by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Most middle class Russians have retained their jobs and income levels, and many have even reduced their debt burden under […]

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Shuvalov: economic situation in Russia is difficult, there is no influx of guest workers to Russia

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) – Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said there is no big influx of foreign labor migrants to Russia amid the economic problems. “We need to understand that the economic situation in the country is very difficult. Migrants are not so active now as they were when our national currency was rather strong,” Shuvalov said […]

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Most Russian Monotown Residents Say Economic Situation Unbearable

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 25, 2016) A total of 59.8 percent of residents of Russia’s single-industry towns consider their socio-economic situation to be unbearable or hardly bearable, the RBC newspaper reported Thursday, citing a poll by the Federal Guard Service (FSO). Only 3.9 percent of respondents said the socio-economic situation in their town was favorable and 31.3 percent […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Months without pay at Donetsk mine leads to strike, firings” – Kyiv Post – Josh Kovensky – January 19, 2016

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The Kiev Post covers labor unrest amidst the conflict in eastern Ukraine. After months without pay, workers in one of Ukraine’s largest coal mines had enough. Workers at the Kholodna Balka mine in Donetsk Oblast’s Makeevka decided to strike on Jan. 13, bringing work to a halt …. miners said that they decided to go on strike after nearly a […]

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Russian Press Digest (19 August 2015)

(opendemocracy.net – EDITORS OF OPENDEMOCRACY RUSSIA) This Wednesday, the Russian press focuses on the departure of Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways and a close ally of Vladimir Putin. According to business daily Kommersant, Yakunin called his decision to leave ‘a personal one’ during a conversation with Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Kaliningrad’s election commission is processing Yakunin’s candidacy to become the […]

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Real incomes in Russia decline 2.0% in July, wages down 9.2% – Rosstat

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. Aug 19 (Interfax) – Real disposable incomes in Russia fell 2.0% in July compared with the same month last year, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said. They fell 3.5% in June, 6.4% in May, 4% in April, 1.8% in March, 1.6% in February and 0.8% in January. Incomes fell 2.9% in real terms in January-July 2015. They declined […]

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Russians Named Europe’s Least Productive Workers

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 11, 2015) The productivity of the Russian workforce is the lowest among European countries, according to a report issued Monday by the France-based international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. In Russia, labor productivity – measured by the gross domestic product valued in U.S. dollars divided by the total number of hours […]

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NEWSWATCH Kyiv Post: Soviet social guarantees for employees scare away investors, often backfire

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

The Kyiv Post and Olena Gordiienko comment on Ukrainian labor law and its impact on real world labor practices, business and investment. Ukrainian labor legislation is paternalistic and focuses excessively on employee rights, many lawyers and employers say … it also leads to unintended consequences.   Ukrainians earn less than any other nation in Europe, $180 per month on average. Unemployment rose from 7.3 […]

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Why Russia Still Attracts Immigrants

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 15, 2015) Russia isn’t often thought of as a country of immigration. Yet the country’s enormous territory and shrinking indigenous population invite a striking number of immigrants: Last year, despite the collapse of oil prices and the Ukraine crisis, Russia was the biggest originator of migrant workers’ remittances in Europe. When President […]

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Ukraine’s labour reforms threaten workers’ rights

Rada File Photo

(openedemocracy.net – Vitaly Dudin – June 5, 2015) Vitaly Dudin is a legal analyst at Ukraine’s Center for Social and Labor Research, which was created in 2013 as an independent not-for-profit institution dedicated to the analysis of socio-economic problems, collective protests, labour relations and conflicts The oligarchs have joined forces to railroad a new labour code that strips Ukrainian workers of […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia plans detailed discussion on raising retirement age: document

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

The Russian government has for the first time said officially it will hold discussions on raising the retirement age, a step whose supporters say is vital because the country’s workforce is shrinking. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/14/us-russia-crisis-pensions-idUSKBN0NZ27R20150514

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Putin sees growth of wages outrunning labor productivity as one of causes of economic crisis

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. April 27 (Interfax) – The causes of the crisis in the Russian economy are not only external, but also internal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “As to overcoming the crisis in the Russian economy, we need to understand the causes to decide what to do […] There are, of course, external causes, but they are primarily internal,” Putin […]

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Worker Strikes Will Only Boost Kremlin’s Popularity, Say Analysts

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 31, 2015) Withheld salaries, unforeseen firings and pay cuts have amplified discontent in an array of Russia’s economic sectors, leading to a handful of strikes political analysts said Monday were more likely to bolster workers’ support for the Kremlin than weaken it. A scattering of Russian teachers, builders and factory workers […]

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Labour conflicts in Russia on the rise, cuts top of agenda – union official

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – Volgograd, March 17, 2015) The number of social labour conflicts in the Russian Federation has increased in the past eight months, deputy chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Yevgeniy Makarov said on Tuesday [17 March]. “The previous week was one of the most difficult ones. Conflicts were recorded in every federal district. There were […]

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Ukraine separatists strip Donetsk elite of power and property

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Donetsk – March 12, 2015) A line of fresh flower-heaped graves marks the northern edge of Donetsk’s Scheglovskoe cemetery, where 33 coal miners killed in a pit blast on March 4 lie. Only 50 metres away stands a pithead of the massive Zasyadko mine, where the men met their deaths. The […]

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Russia To Test Migrant Workers On Country’s History

Migrant Workers file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Farangis Najibullah and Umid Bobomatov – June 13, 2014) So you want to work in Russia? You may be a skilled bricklayer — but do you know when Ivan the Terrible reined in the boyars? Or when the Polish-Lithuanian forces were expelled from Muscovy? When Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg? No? Well you might want to start […]

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Housing and High Wages Will Stop Russian ‘Brain Drain’ – Russian Official

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – New housing incentives and high wages will help prevent young Russian scientists from leaving the country, a Russian official said Wednesday during a meeting of young scientists in Siberia. “I think that we should create better conditions so that our young scientists are motivated to build their career here in the country. And by […]

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Now I’m a union man

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Grigory Tumanov – January 13, 2014) Grigory Tumanov is a Moscow based journalist and blogger. He is a staff correspondent for Kommersant daily, one of Russia’s most respected publications. In both Soviet and more recent times, Russia’s trade unions have tended to be an arm of the regime, but Grigory Tumanov argues that a growing independent movement is […]

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RIA Novosti: 1 Million Foreigners Could Be Working Illegally in Moscow – Official

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW, January 9 (RIA Novosti) ­ About a million foreigners could be working illegally in the Russian capital, a top Moscow migration official suggested Thursday. Olga Kirillova, head of the Federal Migration Service’s Moscow branch, said in televised remarks to the state-run channel Moskva 24 that just over 415,000 foreigners work legally in the city. She said that the overall […]

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Interfax: Most migrants come to Russia in visa-free travel regime, many don’t speak Russian

Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – A third of migrant workers do not speak Russian, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky said. “We are witnessing a surge in the arrivals of migrants from CIS member countries. As of now, 11.1 million foreigners are staying in Russia, and almost three-quarters of them enjoy the visa-free travel regime,” he told a roundtable in […]

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My Two Days Working Undercover at Moscow’s Sadovod Market

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eradzh Nidoev – November 7, 2013) [Photos here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/my-2-days-working-undercover-at-moscows-sadovod-market/489045.html] It’s 6 a.m. and still dark outside. I am standing inside the sprawling Sadovod market on the 14th kilometer of the Moscow Ring Road in southeast Moscow. A sweeper is working one of the deserted rows of shops, trying to put things in order after yesterday’s […]

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Kudrin says Russian economy cannot do without migrants

Alexei Kudrin file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 22 (Interfax) – The Russian economy will have difficulties functioning without migrant workers, former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said. “Russia will become a country with workforce deficit in the coming years…We currently cannot do without migrant workers. But migration should be regulated, it should be legal,” Kudrin told reporters in St. Petersburg on Tuesday during the […]

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Putin: productivity gains must accelerate to shift from raw materials

Oil Well file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 2, 2013) The current challenge for the Russian economy is the need to accelerate labor productivity gains, since the current slow pace means that the economic orientation on raw materials extraction will continue, President Vladimir Putin said in Moscow on Wednesday at the Russia Calling investment forum organized by VTB Capital. “For Russia, the main, crucial […]

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How former Soviet countrymen resettle in Russia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lyudmila Nazdracheva, special to RBTH – September 26, 2013) This year, thanks to a program that facilitates the return of nationals to Russia, around 15,000 people have moved back to the country. The plans for the program estimated the influx of returning émigrés to be in the hundreds of thousands per year, and […]

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Moscow’s Migrant Problem ­ And Lack of Community

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News. She also works as a playwright, ­ her work featured at the Lyubimovka Festival in Moscow and Gogolfest in Kiev, Ukraine – August 13, 2013) The war on migrants in Moscow is being stepped up ahead of the September 8 mayoral election ­ with a tent camp set up […]

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Most Russians Unhappy About Migrant Worker Influx – State Survey

Migrant Workers file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, Aug. 1, 2013) ­ Most Russians have negative views regarding the influx of labor migrants, millions of whom come from former Soviet republics in Central Asia to seek a better living in Russia, according to the results of a state survey published Thursday. About two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents to the poll, conducted last month, said […]

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More than half of Russians would like to work in govt sector – poll

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 20, 2013) Public service looks attractive to 55% of Russians, although 22% believe public officials have to agree to compromises with their conscience, a nationwide public opinion poll conducted by www.superjob.ru has shown. ‘Stable salary and powers,’ ‘maximum salary and minimum efforts – public service is a dream for any idler’, ‘you can take large bribes […]

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Over quarter of Russians convinced nothing can be achieved with strikes – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) The faith of Russian citizens in the efficiency of going on strike has decreased – the number of those considering strikes as the only way to resolve issues has gone down in the past years, while the number of skeptics grew considerably, a poll showed. In 1989 17% respondents considered strikes to be the […]

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Russian officials worried influx of migrants becomes unmanageable

Migrant Workers file photo

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The influx of migrants in Russia is becoming alarming, head of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovskiy has said, as quoted by Interfax news agency on 6 June. “For the last four years, we have recorded a significant increase in the number of immigrants to Russia. It was especially high in 2012 and 2013. Certainly, […]

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Why We Should All Work Like Putin

Oil Worker file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 31, 2013 – Michael Bohm) Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times and author of “The Russian Specific: An Analysis of the Russian Work Ethic” (A. Golod, 2007). Any discussion about the Russian work ethic inevitably ends up focusing on the Soviet Union, which did more than any other period in […]

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Russian analysts: immigrants, guest workers fertile ground for radical Islamism

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Interfax / Religion – Moscow, May 15, 2013) The head of a Russian policy think tank has argued that immigrants and guest workers who have come to Russia from Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union are potentially a fertile environment for radical Islamist ideas and called for tighter restrictions on immigration and guest labor. “The migrants are hostile toward […]

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Laboring in Sochi No Slice of Heaven

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – April 30, 2013) SOCHI ­ The problems on Ruslan Zokhidov’s mind are not typical for a young man of his age: he is the least likely person to be found nattily dressed at a trendy night club or entering a university lugging a pile of books. Instead, Zokhidov, 19, lugs building materials […]

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Unions, Bloggers, Lonely Girls Rally in Russia on Labor Day

Map of Russia

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, May 1, 2013) ­ Hundreds of thousands of people rallied across Russia on Wednesday to mark Labor Day with events ranging from Soviet-style state-endorsed marches to campaigns for promotion of European techno and single ladies’ rights. Moscow saw seven rallies, the biggest of them being a march of labor unions in Moscow, co-organized by the ruling […]

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