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Article

Занятость в посткризисной России: роль поселенческих неравенств

Вестник Института социологии. 2018. Т. 27. № 4. С. 44-63.

his article1 examines shifts when it comes to employment among Russians during the financial-economic crisis years of 2014–2016, as well as during the years 2017–2018, which Russian scientists have already named the “period of negative post-crisis stabilization”. This article for the most part confirms said thesis. Despite obvious success in certain aspects (for example, unemployment around Russia has been kept at an unusually low level, while the wage gap between various regions has somewhat smoothened out in 2018 due to a decrease in income among those who live in the capital cities), several critical employment indicators show that our country has not yet recovered from the crisis. Alienation of villages is what’s the most disturbing circumstance, manifesting in the form of not only unusually high unemployment rates (over five times higher than that of the capital cities), but also villagers having to deal with injustice when it comes to their labor – delayed payment en masse, “grey” salaries and authoritarian local management. There’s also the matter of large-scale employment instability, and the enduring high risk of unemployment among younger people, especially those who perform simple physical labor. Yet another indicator would be an increase in settlement inequalities when it comes to distributing individual income within professional groups. When it comes to the capital cities, mainly managers have been negatively affected by the crisis (as a result of optimizing funding for administrations); as for regional and district center cities, mostly professionals are facing trouble due to the crisis (since there is a limited amount of “worthwhile” job offers out there). Additionally there are certain fundamental differences in types of employment and job opportunities between the capital cities and the regions, with said differences not necessarily being a consequence of the crisis itself. For example, this article concludes that a gradual transformation of Russian regional center cities into a “transfer periphery” is occurring, due to the fact that, since the early 2000’s, the amount of economically inactive people (mostly unemployed elderly folk) within them has increased twofold. The empirical basis for this study consists of sample statistics data, collected from “waves” of a national monitoring study conducted in 2014–2018 by the Federal Center for Sociological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences.