Staunton, June 30 – Of those immigrants in Russia who have the right to work there – and that does not include more than 90 percent of the Ukrainians who have taken refuge in the Russian Federation, 83 percent now come from just three Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, a new Moscow study says.
This is a new high, reflecting the return of migrant workers from these countries after the pandemic and the departure of both those from the Caucasus who are not coming back in equal numbers and the exit of Western specialists who have left because of sanctions, the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service study says (kp.ru/daily/27413.5/4611681/).
The total number of immigrant workers in Russia, the study continues, is up by 25 percent from last year but remains down by 18 percent from 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. The number from the three Central Asian countries is down only 12 percent, another reason why their share in the overall figure is rising.
Central Asians are attracted to Russia by the high ruble exchange rates and the availability of jobs, an availability that has continued to be high in the sectors they dominate despite the economic problems that have arisen from the sanctions regime imposed after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Immigrant workers outnumber Russians in construction, communal services and home help. They are roughly equal to the number of Russians in the hospitality industry, restaurants, trade, and processing industry. But they are far outnumbered by Russians in education, healthcare, science, and state administration.