Russia’s unemployment rate expected to improve to pre-crisis levels next year

Russia’s labor market is set to rebound by the end of 2021, with the unemployment rate falling below five percent, according to documents related to the national budget plan.

The situation in the labor market is expected to improve as the Russian economy recovers from the coronavirus crisis, the note to the federal budget for 2021-2023, seen by TASS news agency, says. The number of employed people is set to reach nearly 72 million next year, the document said citing calculations based on the International Labour Organization (ILO) methodology.

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The projections show that the unemployment rate for 2021 will fall to 5.2 percent. However, the labor market will show signs of improvement by year-end, falling below 5 percent. The number of people without jobs is set to continue to decrease in 2022-2023, reaching 4.7 and 4.6 percent respectively, as the labor market adapts to “new conditions.”

Most Russian regions had to impose full lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus, triggering massive layoffs as businesses, especially in the service sector, had to close to comply with government orders. While most coronavirus measures have already been eased, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted earlier this month that the unemployment rate still remains high.

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“About eighteen months ago, it was 4.7 percent, but it is 6.3 percent today. It may not look high in percentage points, but it amounts to a considerable increase, nevertheless,” Putin said during a meeting with government officials last Thursday. “We must continue to support those who have not yet found new jobs.”

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