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Russian Labor Agency Seeks to Punish Unemployment With Fine

Russia's government may introduce fines on those registered as unemployed in an attempt to battle the illegal job market, news agency RBC reported Tuesday.

According to the plan proposed by Russia's Federal Labor and Employment Service, or Rostrud, every citizen older than 18, with the exception of students, seniors and those officially employed, will be obliged to pay a fine, RBC reported, citing Rostrud deputy head Mikhail Ivankov.

The measure is intended to boost Russia's tax revenue by bringing more people out of the "black" labor market, according to Rostrud. The agency hopes to legalize more than 4 million workers by the end of the year, Rostrud said in a press release earlier in May.

Registered unemployment, which tracks lower than actual unemployment, stood at 4.4 million in April, or 5.6 percent of Russia's 71.6 million economically active citizens, according to data from Russia's federal statistics agency Rosstat.

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