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Number of Registered Jobless Rises After Months of Decline

The number of officially registered unemployed in Russia has begun to increase after half a year of steady or falling figures, the Health and Social Development Ministry said Monday.

For the week ending Nov. 4, the number of registered jobless was 2.014 million people, or 0.1 percent higher than a week earlier. The preceding week had a 0.1 percent decline, while the week before that the registered jobless figure dropped 0.2 percent.

Since October 2008, 759,472 people have officially been fired. Of them, 207,935 have been re-employed, including 118,797 who were rehired by their previous employers, the ministry said.

Maxim Topilin, a deputy health and social development minister, attributed the increase to seasonal factors, saying there was typically an increase in the fall months.

“But considering the unstable economic situation in the country, a significant increase in seasonal unemployment will be prevented later this year through the active work on regional programs to support the labor market,” he said.

Topilin also said that according to forecasts, the regional programs will prevent the 2009 full-year average figure for registered unemployed from passing 2.2 million people.

According to State Statistics Service data, the overall unemployment figure — including those who do not register with the Federal Labor and Employment Service — reached 5.8 million in September, down 18 percent from its high in February.

Andrei Korovkin, who studies the labor market at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said seasonal increases in unemployment would increase until at least February. But the yearly average for unemployed will likely be 6.5 million people, below the Economic Development Ministry’s forecast of 6.8 million, he said.

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