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The “staff shortage” is wreaking havoc in Russia: who and what companies are willing to pay

Date: October 2, 2023 Time: 06:43:42

42% of industrial companies had a shortage of workers in July

Photo: Alexey BULATOV

Our industry is in drastic labor shortages. The problem is not new, but recently it has started to become catastrophic. As can be seen from the data from the market research laboratory of the Economic Policy Institute. Gaidar, in July there was a shortage of workers in 42% of industrial companies. This is a record since 1996.

Approximately the same is said in the April monitoring of companies of the Central Bank. The top industries with the most complaints about staff shortages look like this: 1) manufacturing, 2) mining, 3) water supply, 4) transportation and warehousing (not quite production, but not this industry related, in any way) . Closes the top five, according to the Central Bank, agriculture. But this is nothing new: there is no one to work there forever.


According to the experts, among the causes of “hunger” are not only the notorious demographic crisis and the departure of migrants, but also import substitution, the growth of defense orders, that is the strong demand for people. The labor market is quite inert. Those who want to find a job are trying to find happiness in completely different areas.

– In July, compared to June of this year, applicants posted 3% more new resumes, this activity is not very typical for mid-summer. But the increase was mainly due to the resumes of sellers, administrators, – says Yuri Mikheev, head of the department of Zarplaty.ru.

Problems with “staff shortage”, as described in the already mentioned monitoring of the Central Bank, companies solve mainly in two ways: salary indexation and retraining of personnel.

With salary, yes. Believe it or not, Rosstat recorded in May an unprecedented increase in real wages (i.e. adjusted for inflation and net of taxes and other similar payments) of 13.3% compared to May 2022. This is a record of 15 years. And in general, according to official statistics, in the second quarter, the real income of Russians increased by 5.3%. Mainly due to wages: income from business activity and even social benefits decreased. Where are these people whose salaries have grown so much? And look at the “Just Numbers” banner: There are industries where wages have risen on average by a quarter or more over the year. And this is not the banking sector and not even IT.


“I would go to the welders, let them teach me …” But do not get excited. Working in a particular area with “staff shortage” does not at all guarantee that you will earn a lot there. Especially with the idea that production is, first of all, hard physical labor, there is strength, no mind is needed.

For example, experts from the recruiting company UTEAM told KP what skills and knowledge you need to have to earn between 150 and 200 thousand in the construction (and mainly industrial) industry, instead of the industry average of 70 thousand. .

Don’t be fooled, one of the most in-demand skills is digital building modeling, or BIM design (a virtual model of a building with all the information about it). We categorically lack such specialists, and the state is rapidly promoting the digitization of construction, especially under government orders.

Another, more important skill is “the experience of successful coordination and approval of project documentation” and “handover of facilities to Rostekhnadzor.” So to speak, Russian details, with all the digitization.

And this example is indicative for other industries. And not just for engineering and management positions. In blue collar jobs, it’s not uncommon to have requirements like “the ability to maintain equipment using software and robotics.” And this is also one of the reasons for personnel problems. You can’t put a semi-literate migrant to communicate with robotics. Yes, and a Russian is needed not only with the ability to “raise more, release more.”


Areas where wages increased the most in a year

May 2023 to May 2022, % / Cumulative average salary in May 2023, thousands of rubles

pipeline transport +85% – 263

production of electrical material +31% – 70.4

coal mining +29% – 113

production of metal products (except machinery and equipment) +26% – 67.5

production of rubber and plastic products +25% – 60

number of motor vehicles +24% – 66

number of computers, electronic and optical products +24% – 86

p-in leather and derived products + 24% – 42.5

(Rosstat data)

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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