Friday, January 12, 2024

Since February 2022, More than a Million Russians have Exited Domestic Labor Market, Exacerbating Labor Shortages in Poorer Areas, Zubarevich Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 9 – Since February 2022, when Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine, Natalya Zubarevich says, “more than a million people have left the Russian labor market,” including more than 700,000 who have gone into the military and another 500,000 plus who have emigrated.

            That the war has played a key role in this is suggested by an unprecedented development in some parts of Russia: the declines in men in the workforce have been significantly greater than the declines in the number of women. As a result, there are now some places where women outnumber men in the current workforce

            And the exit of men, the Moscow State University economic geographer says,  has compounded the “demographic slump” where “the generation entering the labor market now is 30 percent smaller than the one a decade ago (

            Both these negative trends have been greater in poorer parts of the country because people from these places have also moved to better off cities and because migrant workers from abroad don’t want to move there because wages are lower and conditions significantly worse, she continues.

            That means that in many places the situation regarding the labor pool in these regions has become “catastrophic.”

            This collapse in the size of the labor pool is especially striking in the regions of the Russian North along the Arctic Sea coast. And these declines are already having not only economic consequences but political ones, calling into question Moscow’s ability to expand or even maintain at current levels the operation of the Northern Sea Route.

            For details on that, see, and


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