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TABLE 9-2 Employment and Unemployment: Russia, 1992-1995 (thousands)

Employment and Unemployment

1992

1993

1994

1995

Total population

148,326

148,295

147,997

147,938

Economically active population

75,665

75,012

73,962

73,140

Employed population

72,071

70,852

68,484

67,100

Unemployed population

3,594

4,160

5,470

6,040

Registered unemployed

578

836

1,637

2,327

In receipt of benefit

371

550

1,395

2,026

Economically inactive population

72,661

73,283

74,039

74,798

 

SOURCES: Goskomstat Rossii (1995:16, 54); Goskomstat Rossii (1996:21).

The apparent failure of the FES may help explain why so large a proportion of the unemployed is found to be in poverty, a statistic that casts doubt on the effectiveness of this component of the social safety net.15 Doubt must also be expressed about the contribution made by active labor market policies to any increase in the effectiveness with which the labor market reallocates labor.

There are more women than men registered with the FES. This may reflect the fact, or the perception, that the sorts of vacancies of which the FES is notified are more suitable for women than for men, or it may be a consequence of men's greater proclivity to find unregistered work in the so-called second economy.16 Youth account for some 36 percent of registered unemployment; this is only slightly less than the 41 percent reported in the 1995 Russian Labor Force Survey.17 Thus, the young do not appear to be shunning the FES in substantial numbers (or at least not disproportionately). In 1995, the average duration of unemployment was approximately 6 months. This is quite a short time, and if not a statistical artifact is evidence that the labor market is making significant numbers of matches.18 As the level of unemploy-

15  

Furthermore, since the FES's active labor market measures are focused primarily on those who are registered as unemployed, the figures in Table 9-2 also call into question the effectiveness of the service. These reservations are reinforced by estimates of the structure of FES expenditures. In 1994, the FES spent some 2407md (milliard, equal to an American billion) rubles. This amount was allocated as follows (in percent): administration—27, benefits—38, active policies—5, other—30. (See Goskomstat Rossiia, 1995:278.)

16  

For a more extended discussion of the problems faced by women in the post-Soviet labor market, see Lakunina (1995:21-30), Nuti (1996b:Ch. 10), and Goskomstat Rossiia (1996:25).

17  

See Goskomstat Rossia (1997:94), which shows that some 10 percent of the unemployed are aged 16-19, 18 percent are aged 20-24, and 13 percent are aged 25-29. Further, in the youngest age group, only 8 percent of males are unemployed, but 12.5 percent of females. This probably reflects the fact that boys aged 18 are liable for conscription (see also Goskomstat Rossiia, 1996:25).

18  

According to law, the registered unemployed are entitled to unemployment benefits for no more than 12 months. This could mean that the maximum duration on the register—and hence



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