Thursday, March 31, 2022

Number of Migrant Workers in Russia Falls by Two-Thirds from 15 Million to Five, HSE Expert Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 22 – Before the pandemic, there were more than 15 million migrant workers employed in Russia. Because of the coronavirus, that number fell to 10 million; and now sanctions threaten to reduce the number further to five million or less, according to Andrey Glazyev of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics.

            Their departure is imposing severe constraints on many sectors of the Russian economy, he says. In some places, shortages of workers amount to as much as 80 percent, driving down production and wages and inflation up as employers struggle to attract workers foreign and domestic into the workforce (

            Government officials and experts are scrambling to come up with a program to attract more immigrant workers. Some are calling for a reduction in the cost of registration, the opening of land boundaries within the Eurasian Economic Union, permanent residence permits for those who have paid fees on time, and a ban on expelling those guilty of minor offenses.

            When or even if such innovations will come into effect is unknown. Some think that the Duma may take up such a package in April; but no one can say for sure. But until that happens and even for a time after it does, the Russian economy is going to continue to lose people on whom it has been counting on with no reserves to replace them.


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