Tuesday, December 26, 2023

More than 90 Percent of Russian Firms Face Problems with Shortage of Workers, Sparking Inflation and Threatening Economic Growth, Moscow Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 23 – Ninety-one percent of Russian firms now face difficulties in hiring enough workers, something that is leading many of them to boost wages in the hopes of attracting the cadres they need, according to Moscow economists. That in turn is threatening inflation and future economic growth.

            At the end of November, Russian Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina called this growing shortage of workers “the main problem” of the Russian economy at the present time. Other experts agree (iz.ru/1624816/mariia-stroiteleva/kak-zhe-bez-ruk-defitcit-rabotnikov-v-2023-godu-sostavil-48-mln).

            In addition to the threat of inflation and low growth that this worker shortage poses, it also makes it more difficult for the Russian economy, in response to sanctions, to engage in import substitution. There simply aren’t the workers needed to allow firms to change direction during this crisis, Moscow economists say.

            An additional influx of migrant workers might help solve this bottleneck in some parts of the economy, but anger about immigrants even at a time when their numbers are falling reduces the chances that the solution to this shortage can be found there. And the Kremlin’s continuing demand for men to fight in Ukraine will only intensify it (tochno.st/materials/v-2023-godu-pritok-migrantov-v-rossiiu-upal-do-minimalnyx-znacenii-eto-mozet-stat-uze-cetvertoi-volnoi-spada-migracii-s-konca-2000-x-no-poka-ona-mense-cem-ozidalos).


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