Staunton, January 29 – New data released by the Russian government’s statistical arm Rosstat on unemployment in Russia in December 2017 by federal district and federal subject show that unemployment is relatively low in central Russian areas and extraordinarily high in the North Caucasus.
For Russia as a whole, Rosstat said, unemployment in December stood at 5.1 percent. But that figure conceals enormous differences among the regions and among the peoples who populate them, with far lower figures in predominantly ethnic Russian ones and far higher ones in predominantly non-Russian areas (interfax-russia.ru/NorthWest/main.asp?id=904727).
Indeed, in reporting the Rosstat numbers, Russia’s Interfax news agency pointed out that the rate varied by up to 3.6 times among the country’s federal districts and exceeded 20 times between those regions with the highest levels of unemployment and those with the lowest.
As has been true for some time, the federal district with the lowest level of unemployment was the Central one, a predominantly ethnic Russian area. There unemployment stood at 3.1 percent. The federal district with the highest level of unemployment was the North Caucasus FD where 11.3 percent of the population was unemployed.
The figures for federal subjects are even more varied, with predominantly ethnic Russian regions like Moscow and St. Petersburg having unemployment rates of 1.3 and 1.5 percent respectively, while the figures for the North Caucasus republics and for the republics of Tyva and Altay as well are staggeringly and depressingly high.
In Ingushetia, unemployment stood at 26.5 percent; in Tyva, 17.7 percent, in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, 13.5 percent; in Daghestan, 11.5 percent; Kabardino-Balkaria, 10.9 percent; the Altai Republic, 10.9 percent; and Kalmykia, 10.2 percent. The only “Russian” area above 10 percent was the Transbaikal kray, with a rate of 10.6 percent.
Besides the enormous human suffering that these figures imply, they also explain why the Russian government will find it difficult both to keep popular anger among non-Russians about this situation under control and to prevent non-Russians from fleeing their homelands to the major Russian cities in search of work, where many Russians do not want them.