Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center

Labor Market of Russian Regions and Municipalities

Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center has published the thirty-first issue of the research digest. It presents the results of the study of regional and local labor markets in the context of the events of 2020–2022, carried out by the Faculty of Geography and Geoinformation Technologies (HSE University).

Labor Market of Russian Regions and Municipalities

Despite the fact that the problem of territorial inequality remains of great importance to Russia, at the moment the dynamics of this phenomenon is still unclear. In this new issue of research digest, the authors (Alexander Sheludkov, Evgeny Antonov) make their own attempt to measure territorial inequality at the regional and sub-regional (municipal) levels through an analysis of the Russian labor market in the period from 2020 to 2022.

Such labor market parameters as the level of employment and wages are used as indicators of territorial inequality. In this study open information from statistical tax reporting is also analyzed in order to assess the level and dynamics of labor incomes of the population according to the Federal Tax Service (FTS).

The authors of the study claim that the basic geographical polarizing axes such as ‘north’ and ‘south’ or ‘regional center’ and ‘regional periphery’ remain relevant for the Russian labor market. The difference between  these poles is manifested on the level of job security and wages of individuals, as well as in the scale and direction of dynamics during the crisis.

It is also worth mentioning that a comprehensive assessment of the labor market in recent years shows the different impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the sanctions shock of 2021-2022 for municipalities, regions and the country as a whole. There were downward trends in the number of people employed at all three territorial levels, but the decline was more pronounced and profound on the local labor markets of small municipalities.

The dynamics of wages in 2020–2022 was significantly influenced by the state policy of fiscal stimulus, especially in 2020, when there was a noticeable relative growth in the groups of the largest and smallest municipalities, e.g. in rural settlements. This enabled a convergence of wages at the local level, with its median value rising among municipalities by 5%. In 2021, the momentum of fiscal stimulus waned, and, in 2022, real median labor income was again declining. This is in marked contrast to the positive dynamics of wages at the national level throughout the period under review, which was achieved at the expense of a limited number of successful regions.

Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center Digest Project is managed by Olga Voron.

The new issue of the research digest (Russian version) is available at the link.

Previous issues are available at the link.