Sunday, February 18, 2024

Russia has a Productivity Problem Not a Labor Shortage, El Murid Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 15 – Just as the Putin regime focuses on boosting the birthrate rather than extending the lives of those already born, a vastly cheaper and statistically clever way of improving Russia’s image, so too the Kremlin now talks constantly about a labor shortage when in fact Russia’s real problem in the workplace is elsewhere.

            Specifically, Anatoly Nesmiyan who blogs under the screen name El Murid says that the problem is that productivity in the Russian workplace is far lower than that in other countries and changing it is a challenge because neither cultural norms nor state policies encourage improvements in productivity (

            As a result, the only thing the Kremlin is capable of thinking is how to increase the number of people in the workforce in order to boost production rather than address the more difficult task of boosting productivity using existing workers. If it were to do the latter successfully, there would be no worker shortage in Russia now, El Murid says.

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