The number of jobless people has dropped below 3% for the first time since the 1990s
Unemployment levels in Russia plunged to 2.9% in October, according to data from the country’s statistics service, Rosstat, released on Wednesday. The figure is the lowest since the early 1990s.
Last month, around 2.2 million people aged 15 and older were classified as unemployed, compared to an average of 2.3 million for the third quarter. Compared to last year’s figures, the number of Russians without work decreased by 23%.
The number of people with jobs reached 74.1 million, up from 74 million a month earlier and 72.1 million in October 2022.
Unemployment in the country has now been below 4% since May 2022.
According to the Bank of Russia, however, businesses continue to suffer from a shortage of workers, which is helping to maintain high rates of wage growth.
“To retain staff, enterprises are developing and expanding programs to motivate and stimulate employees,” the central bank wrote in a note.
In September, the average nominal monthly salary in the country amounted to 70,900 rubles ($800), an annual increase of 7.2%, Rosstat data showed. However, compared to the previous months, the growth of real wages has somewhat slowed, down from 9.5% in August and 9.2% in July.
The Russian Research Institute of Labor described the current situation as a “job seeker’s labor market.”
“This provision is favorable for the job applicants, since it gives them greater freedom of choice, and encourages employers to compete for workers through increasing wages and improving working conditions,” the institute noted in a note to RBK news outlet. Experts have noted an increase in demand for employees of pre-retirement age, young workers, people with disabilities, and other groups of candidates that were not previously the main focus of most employers.
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