Жители малых и средних городов России: трудовая миграция как альтернатива безвозвратному отъезду
The article deals with internal labor migration of residents of Russia’s small and mid-size towns. Whereas the total labor migration in Russia is above 2 million people (according to Rosstat), nearly every fifth household in a small town and every ninth household in a mid-size town had a labor migrant in the course of five years preceding the survey (according to INSAP RANEPA). Labor migration is not limited to rural areas and settlements with a highly slack labor market. The intraregional labor migration that boosts labor migration in the country is identified by at Журнал НЭА, № 3 (43), 2019, с. 78–94 Жители малых и средних городов России: трудовая миграция... 94 least 25%, however, it flies under radars of Rosstat’s surveys. Labor migration can be both a stepping stone for or an alternative to the permanent transfer to larger cities. Administrative barriers no longer hinder such permanent transfer, the main barrier being a huge difference in the housing costs between small towns and larger cities (be it purchase or rental). This difference is not covered by the income of middle-skilled workers (which comprise most of these migrants) when working in larger cities — as opposed to high-skilled workers.