Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil
If in May both officials and experts spoke of 5.8% of those who lost jobs by the end of the year as the maximum figure, then August has already surpassed the forecast - Rosstat reported that 6.3% of the employed population, or 4 million 670 thousand people, lost their jobs. The situation is especially difficult in the regions - in the 2nd quarter the unemployment rate rose by 30%, and in some areas by 40%.
Unemployment is on the rise, but not so much
According to the experts of the PRUE. G.V. Plekhanov, the most difficult situation is in those cities where there are no large enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses are fighting for survival due to the pandemic. “It's no secret that this segment has the largest share of“ shadow ”employment. It is not for nothing that almost all regions note the increase in the number of unemployed, who were not formally registered anywhere before contacting the employment services”, - says Lyudmila Ivanova-Shvets, associate professor of the basic department of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation“ Development of human capital ”of the PRUE. G.V. Plekhanov. Researchers believe that the labor market in these places will take the longest to recover.
It is common knowledge that people in small and medium-sized enterprises often work “in black”, therefore, workers dismissed for the pandemic and receiving salaries in envelopes do not appear in official statistics.
- What we see in the official statistics is data from employment centers. Most people do not really want to go there, despite the fact that they may receive benefits for a while. Paradoxically, we have no direct relationship between the number of job cuts and the growth of unemployment. Those who are laid off end up on a "free float" without receiving unemployed status and are not included in the survey, - explains Maria Ignatova, head of the research department at Head Hunter, to Novy Izvestia.
The level of real unemployment in the country is higher than the 6.3% of the total employed population named by Rosstat, or 4 million 670 thousand people. The tourism industry, the entertainment industry, and catering were particularly affected. They have seen the most job cuts and wage cuts. But there is no mass unemployment in the country, all interviewed experts speak about it.
- Unemployment is a multifactorial phenomenon. It depends on the behavior of the employer, and on the territory, and on the employee. A powerful trend was the policy of the state, which asked not to lay off workers and provided preferential loans to businesses in the amount of the minimum wage, provided that jobs were retained. People are very holding on to their jobs, even in the face of reduced real wages”, - said Riorita Kolosova, scientific director of the Department of Labor Economics and Personnel at the Faculty of Economics, Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov.
Everyone understands that in a pandemic, the risk of unemployment should be minimized as much as possible, since its growth can lead to social discontent and unrest.
The pandemic did not pass without consequences for anyone. First of all, employers began to cut wages. It hit every family budget. The number of Russians earning less than 15 thousand rubles a month increased by 6.5%.
- Employers, taking advantage of a difficult situation, offer lower wages with higher requirements for the level of competencies. I believe that the level of income will decrease by 20-30%, since companies will not be able to increase costs in such conditions, including for personnel, - believes the associate professor of the PRUE. V.G. Plekhanova Lyudmila Ivanova-Shvets.
Everyone suffered from the fall in income in the economy. In anonymous surveys, employers and workers report that the basic salary has generally not been cut. All additional payments went “on the knife”: bonuses, allowances, bonuses.
"It is clear that every fifth company noted that they had to either cut people down in one form or another, or transfer them to a part-time work week. Of course, the business suffered a lot. But so far I have not seen statistics that would indicate that there is a massive layoff in the country. Massive rotation is taking place. Even during the crisis, people were looking for work, they were not afraid to do it. Especially IT", - Maria Ignatova told NI.
In July, the Ministry of Labor recorded a restoration of the supply-demand balance in the Russian labor market, but the number of unemployed continues to grow. New specialists who have completed their studies this year are entering the market. The Ministry of Labor recognizes the problem. "The number of vacancies is gradually growing, but so far it is not enough to employ those who lost their jobs before the pandemic, during the period of restrictive measures and those who first entered the labor market after completing their studies," said the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation Elena Mukhtiyarova.
Since February, headhunters have seen a drop in supply and demand for new jobs. The number of vacancies began to slow down, and they were published much less. The depth of the fall in April reached 50% relative to the beginning of February. The weekly curve fell until mid-May. After the May holidays, there was a strong rebound. Already in mid-June in Russia, the figure leveled off to zero. Moscow caught up with February a month ago. Demand began to recover quickly enough.
"It is clear that the previous salaries for employees of beauty and fitness salons will not be - and the clientele is less, and there are restrictions. But there was no panic among the applicants. Everything was calm enough. A boom was expected, but it did not happen", - says Maria Ignatova .
People in Russia are often looking for work through acquaintances and connections, but now they are using all the opportunities. More than 7 million users have registered on the Work in Russia portal, 5.5 million have already responded to vacancies throughout the country.
Remote working life
Much has changed since the pandemic.
Virtually all industries have left remote work in one form or another. According to the Ministry of Labor, about 5% of workers continue to work from home. Employment agencies report that more than half of the employees they survey remain remote. Firms do not prevent them in this. It is not yet known whether there will be a second wave of the pandemic. Therefore, many companies are in no rush.
- It makes no sense to oblige employees to go to the office, if after some time you have to transfer everyone to work from home again. A large number of companies have decided to work remotely until the end of this year. As for January next year, the majority hope to return to the traditional form of work organization. How much will remain at a distance - it's hard to say. Many companies are developing a hybrid model - combining presence in the office with work from home. I think that those who are very comfortable will stay at a distance, - says Maria Ignatova.
Oh brave new world
The good news for job seekers is that there is always a demand for highly specialized job seekers.
In April, the number of vacancies for medical personnel increased two to three times, but now the demand for nurses in cities with a population of over one million has leveled off.
Specialties with the prefix “digital” are in special demand in the labor market. Digital analysts and digital marketers are in great demand. A real hunt for such workers began in April-May. As recruiters say, offers were sent to them pointwise, companies came to them with offers directly. Some companies made proposals for the future and employed digital people for the future. There is a high demand for qualified engineers. Experts believe that this segment of the market expects the same trend as in its time with IT-specialists. There are few engineers now, and the salary market is overheated.
The construction site entered quarantine last and left it first. Finding good construction professionals is extremely difficult.
- If you look at the salaries of workers, then in April-June they were one and a half times higher than the previous period. If earlier it was about a salary of 30 thousand rubles, now they are talking about 50-60 thousand rubles, - says Maria Ignatova.
Among the most growing segments, experts name autonomous cyber-physical production, self-driving transport, green production and services. Also, in the future, the demand for specialties that are at the junction of several areas will grow.
“This can be seen in the emergence of new areas for training specialists that universities offer in 2020 - bioengineering technologies, telemedicine, digital humanities, green technologies, socio-political expertise and consulting, information and analytical monitoring systems, brand communications”, - recalls Lyudmila Ivanova-Shvets .
While the situation on the labor market remains unstable, recruiters do not advise those who have lost their jobs to retrain for new specialties, there is too high competition on the market now. It makes sense to look for vacancies in related industries. A taxi driver, in most cases, will not become a good programmer. But if a manager has successfully sold tours, he will most likely learn how to sell other goods and services. Salary will probably have to give up too. But a tit in the hand is always good, especially since “pie in the sky” - a more interesting job with a better salary - is achieved with the help of evening and part-time studies, fortunately, there are many such offers.
Nevertheless, experts call the situation neutral-negative. It is not easy and not very clear. Business is waiting for a new outbreak. The market is sure that if quarantine is repeated, many companies will not survive it.