Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Unemployment in Russia

Unemployment in Russia

Bashkirova and partners Independent research agency keeps an eye on the trends in the national labor market, unemployment and its perception by our co-citizens (see our study findings from September 21st, 2015 as well as April 29th, 2015).   


According to the Russian Statistics Committee, the percentage of unemployed (using ILO measurement techniques) in November 2015, made 5,8% from total work force in Russia (less Crimea) with the total work force counting 76 million people, i.e. 4,4 million.  Out of this population 900 000 are registered with employment offices (according to the latest data from Ministry of Labor as per January 2016 this number already exceeds One Million people).

The data resulted from the national representative study we conducted in the end of December 2015, is showing that 4% of respondents don’t have a job and are presently searching for it. Additional 4,7% are housekeepers with no official job (and not regarded as unemployed as per ILO definitions). In our people seeking for a job we find twice as less number of women than men (furthermore the response “Housekeeping” used to be given exclusively by women).

The percentage of unemployed is higher in socially unsecured population strata.

We need separately to note that the percentage of unemployed respondents under 24 of age is twice higher than the mean (8%). This is not only a symptom of a crisis in economy, but also a driver capable of destabilizing impact on political situation in the country. We should remember that political crises in Egypt and Greece were developing exactly on the background of unemployment high rates in graduates of academic establishments. 

 I different regions of Russia employment rate is not the same: thus, while in Moscow it is the least, in the Ural and North-Caucasus federal districts it appears twice higher vs. mean value across Russia.

 It’s remarkable that in cities with the number of residents between 500 000 and 1 000 000, the percentage of unemployed is by 4% higher than the mean (about 8%). This could be an aftermath of crisis in construction and machine-building industries.

 Amongst Russians interviewed, 16 % have reported on themselves or their family members having lost jobs over the period of the past 24 months. Additional 18% admit layoffs have affected their office colleagues. In overall 22% of respondents describe their employment situation, as «bad» and additional 6% - as «very bad».  All this makes symptoms of negative processes in the national economy, which have already had impact on citizens’ social feeling. We may suppose that if the Russian government does not manage to reverse the current crisis trends, we may expect growth in protest sentiment. Will the political forces in opposition manage using these trends in time of the forthcoming elections? It’s difficult to give a definite answer, because despite the growing trends, encouraging the unemployed population towards protest voting, the democratic values in overall are still the least popular within this category of citizens.


The study was conducted in late December 2015 on all-Russia random route sample in adults (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 150 settlements, in 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes ± 2,5% by C.I. of 95%. 


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