Support The Moscow Times!

Labor Minister Topolin: 500,000 Russians Face Unemployment

A visitor looks for job vacancies during an employment fair in Moscow.

Half a million Russians stand to lose their jobs this year, Labor Minister Maxim Topilin said, while arguing the number does not amount to a “serious outbreak” in unemployment, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.

“The risk of layoffs today is hanging over about 500,000 people,” Topilin was quoted as saying. The number includes about 301,000 people who hold part-time jobs, he said, RIA Novosti reported.

Individual industries, such as car manufacturing, may see sharper increases of unemployment, Topilin said. But overall, “I don't expect serious outbreaks” of joblessness, he was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Russia's economy is in a downturn amid Western sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its presence in eastern Ukraine. Even employed Russians have seen their incomes shrink, as some employers slashed wages, while the depreciation of the ruble eroded the value of the remaining pay.

The number of Russians living below the official poverty line increased to 20.3 million by September, 2015, according to data released by state statistics service Rosstat late last year.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.