By Paul Goble
Despite all the ways Russian firms and officials have of minimizing unemployment – cutting hours, not paying workers and simply lying – independent Moscow economic experts say that the condition of the economy is now so dire that unemployment may double to ten percent by the beginning of next year.
Anna Pestevera of Kommersant reports that these cuts are likely because it is at the end of the year that companies compile their earnings and losses for the year and make plans for the year ahead, including for the new range of sanctions that the United States is set to impose on February 2 (kommersant.ru/doc/3466194?tw).
Alena Vladimirskaya of the Anti-Slavery Project said that major reductions “from five to fifteen percent” are now expected in companies in various branches as a result of the changing economic situation. “Traditionally,” she adds, “reductions in force take place when organizations sum up their financial results,” something that happens from December through March.
Georgy Dzagurov of Penny Lane Realty says cutbacks are likely among workers like Uber and other taxi drivers but now among those in the IT sector. Irina Rys of Lanta Bank says they will occur in firms doing business abroad who can tell that their activities are likely to decline in the new year.
And Sergey Vikulin, director of the Raschini Fashion House, says that as economic conditions have deteriorated, managers are looking to weed out people who are not being as productive as needed for their companies to survive.