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One in Six Working Russians Can't Provide for Their Family

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One in six working Russians is unable to provide the bare minimum for their family, the Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday, citing government data.

Living standards have dropped since the 2014 economic crisis in Russia, prompted by Western sanctions over Russia’s role in embattled Ukraine and falling oil prices.

This year, official data suggests that 22 million people earned less than the 10,000 rubles ($172) monthly living wage, a 2-million person uptick from 2016.

Government figures cited by Vedomosti say more than 12 million working Russians — 17 percent of the country’s labor force — earned less than they needed to support their families in 2016.

Even though two-thirds of the labor force works in the private sector, the state sector contains four times more working poor, Vedomosti reported.

Women and those without higher education make up most of Russia’s working poor, mostly found in the education, agriculture, and forestry sectors, according to researchers.

By contrast, young workers and those engaged in mineral extraction industries, finance, state management, and the military are considered wealthy.

Meanwhile, analysts estimated that up to 7 million Russians are unable to pay off their loans or declare bankruptcy because of the excessive costs of filing for bankruptcy itself.

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