Occupational Trajectories of Migrants from FSU Countries in Russia
This paper analyses migrants’ occupational mobility paths and factors in the Russian labor market. It deals with mobility of migrants from their last job in the country of origin to their first job in Russia, and from their first job in Russia to their current job in Russia. A mass survey of migrants, involving more than 8,500 participants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), was used as an empirical basis for this paper. The paper demonstrates that massive downward mobility of migrants upon entry into the labor market and limited upward mobility during their stay in the host country are typical for Russia. Education and fluency in Russian may reduce the risks of downward mobility during the transition from the last job in the country of origin to the first job in the Russian Federation. However,
these factors have a very limited impact on the economic integration of migrants. The regional labor market structure is also an important factor; the higher the share of people employed in labor-intensive fields of the service industry, the higher the likelihood of downward mobility of migrants. The results supported segmented assimilation and the existence of a special (migrant) labor market segment in Russia.