MOSCOW. January 23. VOSTOK-MEDIA - The crisis enlarges the Russian army of unemployed. 1,5 millions of unemployed were officially registered on 1st January, 2009. It slightly exceeds the rate recorded several months ago.
But according to International Labor Organization the number of unemployed looms large: 5 million of unemployed. And the occupational level may decrease substantially in the near future. Gontmacher predicts that all indexes related to unemployment will be increased by two times and predicts that by the end of the year there will be as much as 10 millions unemployed. Meanwhile the amount of economically active population accounts for 76 millions people at the moment. According to Aksana Dmitrieva, the deputy of the State Duma the level of unemployment will be increased by 30 % in relation to current level. But Vladislav Inozemtsev, the president of the center for Postindustrial Society Study predicts the growth by 70-80 %.
All experts are unanimous in one point: the crisis is not the only reason of large quantity of unemployed. The current growth of unemployment resulted from economical policy conducted in prior years by the Government that led to excessive number of employees in many spheres including such key sectors as electrical energy and oil and gas industry. Today the volume of electrical energy and raw materials base is on the level of late 1980. Since, the number of workers in these spheres increased twice. And all these people were freeloading on profits from ultrahigh prices on oil and gas and monopolistic tariffs on electrical energy.
In case strict control over the pricing in these spheres will be set and the Government will wish to withdraw part of the incomes through taxation, these spheres will face the necessity to cut back employers. The State sector also has ‘needless’ workers: in the State administration, armed forces etc. According to the experts the process of termination of these people will be intensive and the majority will fall victims not because of downsizing of an industry but as a result of its optimization.
That means that all efforts of the Russian Government to avoid expansion of the unemployment are likely doomed to failure. According to analysts it is wiser to spend state money not on support of companies planning to cut back their employees but on those who lost their jobs.
Though, the excess of the personnel is not the only problem that labor market face in the conditions of the crisis. The quality of the market leaves much to be desired. After the restructuring of the economy in 1998 the rich experience of the engineers and workers of the machinery industry let them easily reeducate and enter new spheres: real estate market, service sector etc. Now the reverse movement is necessary is needed. Some time ago it was fashionable to predict epidemic invasion of white-collars in industrial enterprises. But it is not so easy to accomplish this process in practice and reverse reeducation is very difficult.