Unemployment remains insignificant: Regional review
According to experts’ estimations the unemployment rate is not lower than 6%, and the number of employed people is lower than the number of the working-age population at least by one million.
As of April 1, 2012 the registered unemployment rate remained in Belarus at 0.7% to the number of economically active population. The number of the unemployed registered in the labor, employment and social security bodies by the end of March of the current year came to 31,000 people, that is 7.5% less than the previous year and 1.4% less than by the end of February 2012.
The number of vacancies traditionally exceeded the number of the unemployed – for every vacancy claimed in the labor, employment and social security bodies by the end of March of the current year, there were nominally 0.5 unemployed (by the end of March 2011 – 0.6 unemployed).
The official registration of the unemployed is impeded by a complex bureaucratic mechanism and a very small size of an allowance – the medium allowance per one unemployed made up Br 107.3 thousand (USD 12), or 14.7% of the living-wage budget in March.
As of April 1, 2011 the registered unemployment rate also made up 0.7%. In 2011 the number of the employed came to 4,632 thousand people, that is 0.7% less than in 2010. Meanwhile the number of discharged employees exceeded the number of hired ones in 2011 – 901.1 against 836.6 thousand people. The main ground for discharging was upon mutual agreement of the parties (including for the further employment) and in connection with the expiration of the contract (that is not registered by the official statistics).
As before, the number of vacancies available exceeds the number of the registered unemployed approximately twofold (in Minsk – sixfold). Traditionally the labor market is oriented at blue-collar occupations (77.6% of all vacancies). The number of vacancies grew by 5.9%. Herewith a territorial misbalance is observed – every third vacancy (21.6 thousand) is offered in Minsk.
As far as more realistic estimations of the unemployment rate are concerned, an experimental survey of households according to ILO methodology was held in thirteen cities, including Minsk, and six local councils in November 2012. The population census of 2009 registered an unemployment rate of 6.1% (while the official rate was 1%). According to some experts’ estimations, the level of unemployment in 2011 could reach 10%.
During March 2012 the unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points in one region of the country – the Mogilev Region (to 0.7%). In other regions the registered unemployment rate remained the same: in the Gomel Region – 1%, in the Grodno and Vitebsk Regions – 0.8%, in the Minsk Region – 0.6%, in Minsk – 0.3%.