The number of work permits issued in 2011 to HQS is 10,220. Out of that number, 92% of HQS arrived from the countries whose citizens are required to have visa to enter Russia. It is difficult to analyze the trends in the issuance of this category of work permits. Firstly, that mechanism in 2010 was in force only beginning from the second half-year; secondly, it was adjusted many times since its introduction. At present, highly qualified specialists are allowed to register with the migration service within a period of up to 90 days. However, this can be done only at the place of their residence, and not at the employer organization’s juridical address. It is difficult to attract HQS not only because of the frequent introduction of alterations in the existing procedures, but also because there exists only one (for the entire country) federal migration service department where the relevant documents can be properly formalized (Moscow, the Center for Citizens’ Applications on Passport and Visa Issues of the Federal Migration Service of Russia). In spite of the many declarations of Russia’s top officials that this country is interested in attracting highly qualified foreign workforce for developing hitech products, as well as for the implementation of the Skolkovo project, so far this migration channel has been effectively inactive.
Section Social Sphere 5.2.3. Domestic Migration The domestic migration across Russia is increasingly becoming labor-oriented. This labor migration is taking the forms of shift-work, pendulum, seasonal and other types of migration.
Recently, Rosstat has, for the first time, included in its population employment surveys a question concerning interregional labor migration across Russia, and in 2011 these data were published1. Their analysis has led to a number of conclusions with the regard to certain facts whose existence could previously only be assumed:
- the majority of regions are still insufficiently involved in the interregional exchange of labor. This circumstance makes it difficult to maneuver on labor markets whenever it becomes necessary – say, during a crisis. Besides, it serves as a natural obstacle to modernization of the economy and society as a whole. The volume of domestic interregional labor movements has amounted to approximately 1.7 m, which corresponds to 2.4% of the total number of employed in the Russian economy;
- the entire European part of Russia is influenced, to a varying degree, by the Moscow labor market. Some years ago, Russia’s most eminent migration expert, Zh. A. Zaionchkovskaia, aptly called Moscow ‘a vacuum cleaner that literally sucks in the surrounding population’2. In 2010, the number of people coming to Moscow in search of employment was 902 thousand, which amounts to 54% of all the officially requested labor movements across Russia. If the data for Moscow Oblast are added, the resulting figure will be 65%.
Even the rapidly developing regions of Central Russia, which are attractive in terms of investments but are geographically relatively close to Moscow, cannot stop the outflow of their population to the capital. As far as the depressed areas of Central Russia are concerned, out-migration in search of temporary employment has long become a usual and widespread practice. Thus, for example, in Briansk Oblast, Smolensk Oblast or Ivanovo Oblast labor outflow is 60–100 times higher than the movement in the other direction;
- the balance of domestic labor migration in the ‘Russian North’ is positive, although it is low in absolute terms. In contrast to the overwhelming majority of Russian regions, more people arrive in Komi Republic, Archangelsk Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, and Magadan Oblast, than leave those areas;
- in 8 Russian regions the number of domestic migrants is by more than 2% higher than the total number of employed. These are: the City of Moscow (15%), Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Oblast (11,5%), Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Oblast (8,4%), Moscow Oblast (5,2%), St. Petersburg (4,5%), Nenets Autonomous Oblast (3,3%), the Republic of Sakha (2,5%), and Krasnodar Krai (2,2%). This list demonstrates that the zones that attract foreign and domestic labor migrants overlap. There actually exist few economically attractive regions in Russia, and so they draw migrants irrespective of their origin. In its turn, the labor market in these regions manifests its own needs for additional workforce from outside, while the actual unemployment levels there are very low.
Judging by the published data, domestic labor migration flows in 2005–2008 were demonstrating an intense growth amounting to about 20 to 30% per annum. The crisis produced a decline in 2009, followed by a new surge in 2010.
Trud i zaniatost’ v Rossii 2011. [Labor and Employment in Russia 2011]. Rosstat, 2011.
V Moskvu ili iz Moskvy: gde luchshe zhit’ v Rossii. [To Moscow Or from Moscow: Where It Is Better to Live in Russia // Echo of Moscow. An interview with Zh. A. Zaionchkovskaia by M. Koroleva. 8 November 2008.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks A very similar trend occurred in the sphere of ‘permanent’ domestic migration. All the inaccuracies of statistical records notwithstanding, the crisis manifested itself in a drop in the number of resettlements within Russia in 2009 (to its historic low) and its subsequent rise. In 2011, the number of resettlements, for the first time over a long period, surged above the 2 m mark. Moreover, it can be expected that by the end of 2011 this index will become as high as almost 3 m. This figure was last recorded in 1995. However, the statistical data in this sphere are not quite comparable. It should be reminded that statistical records include both those who register at the place of their residence (as it has actually been happening since 1995) and those who register at the place of their stay, and from the year 2011 they register for a period over months. Thus, the surge in resettlements within Russia in 2011 has also been contributed to by the factor of statistical record-keeping. There were actually few objective causes for a sharp rise in the level of domestic migration - rural flight that had been the core of migration flows in the 1970s and 1980s is now far less significant. As for resettlements in the northern and eastern regions of Russia in search of higher earnings, that phenomenon has effectively disappeared. Long-term growth of domestic mobility may be induced by the recently observed rise in the number of those who seek higher education and the resulting upsurge of student migration. The ideology behind the implementation of the Unified State Exam (EGE) in Russia was in part aimed at providing young talents from ‘the periphery’ with access to this country’s best higher educational establishments. This is what also happening now, to a certain extent.
At the same time, another instrument – resettlement of unemployed persons to other regions – did not gain popularity. After the ‘official declaration’ of the crisis in Russia, that measure was put forth as part of the struggle against unemployment. However, although the amount of money allotted for its implementation was small, it remained unspent. Unemployed people were very reluctant to move to other towns or regions. The surveys among the unemployed and job seekers, conducted in 2008 – 2009 by the Institute of Demography for the RF Federal Service for Labor and Employment (Rostrud), revealed their very low potential mobility level: only 4% of all respondents displayed any intention to move to another region1. So it seems unrealistic to attempt to revive that measure as a trigger of domestic migration with material incentives like lumpsum benefits and the reimbursement of one-way transportation cost, which are proposed in the draft law ‘On the Support of Unemployed Citizens in Their Relocation and Resettlement in Another Area for Finding Employment’2. The draft law is now undergoing a second reading at the State Duma.
5.2.4. Legislative Innovations The main initiatives that emerged over the past year were the discussion of the Migration Policy Concept and further elaboration of the law enforcement procedures for implementing some recently adopted legal provisions.
The revival of discussions concerning the existing migration legislation occurred in the framework of adjusting Strategy 2020. The preparation of the next wording of the Migration Denisenko M. B., Karachurina L. B., Mkrtchian N. V. Gotovy li rossiiskie bezrabotnye ekhat’ za rabotoi [Are the Russian Unemployed Ready To Relocate for Work] // Demoskop Weekly. 2010. No. 445-446.
http://demoscope.ru/weekly/2010/0445/index.php Kozlov V. Pravitel’stvo obeshchaet oplatit’ dorogu i vydat’ ‘pod”emnye’ vnutrennim migrantam. [The Government Promises to Cover Transportation Costs and Allot ‘Relocation Money’ to Internal Migrants] //Moskovskie novosti [The Moscow News]. 16 November 2011.
Section Social Sphere Policy Concept was under way for a whole year. However, the term ‘the next wording’ is correct only to a certain extent. In fact, the elaboration of the Concept’s draft had been started back in 1998, when the Federal Migration Service was still a civilian establishment. That initial draft was then widely discussed, and some research and public organizations took an active part in composing it. The core idea of that first Concept had been repatriation migration (from the CIS countries into Russia). In the autumn of 2001, after the FMS was transferred under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the approaches to the Concept were changed: the core idea was now the struggle against illegal migration and regulation of temporary labor migration. On the basis of that logic the document was entitled ‘The Concept of Regulating Migration Processes’, and in that wording it was adopted in March 2003. However, instead of being approved by the President’s Edict, it was approved by a Regulation of the RF Government, which somewhat diminished its status. Thus, notwithstanding the increasingly prominent role of migration processes in contemporary Russia’s socio-economic life and the abundance of laws, by-laws and amendments to those laws that were adopted in that sphere in the 2000s, this country still has no proper concept of migration policy. The last migration reform in Russia (2006–2007) was oriented in the main towards regulation of temporary labor migration, and had little to do with migration for the purpose of permanent residence in this country. And even the actually implemented migration policy regulated by the relatively well-elaborated part of that legislation (temporary labor migration) gave rise to misunderstandings and criticism, the main target for which was the mechanism of quotas discussed earlier.
The currently discussed version of the Concept is based on the assumption that in a situation when it can be expected that the world’s developed countries are going to compete for ‘one of the main resources of economic development’ (as migration was characterized by I. I.
Shuvalov)1, we need some efficient mechanisms and programs capable of ensuring a permanent and not only temporary migration. The goal of such measures will be not only to sustain the existing population of the country, but also to improve the quality of its human potential.
It is speculated that temporary residence permits should be abolished; an applicant for a residence permit (and then the RF citizenship) will be able to obtain it by applying the so-called points based system which takes into account language fluency, education, professional skills and other individual features. The issue of abolishing the quotas for the issuance of work permits is being hotly debated, but no consensus has been reached so far.
It should be noted that the discussion of the Migration Policy Concept during the second half-year 2011 was influenced by the forthcoming presidential election and the typical prevalence of populist tendencies over actual economic needs2.
The current alterations introduced in existing legislation address the category of highly qualified specialists, as said earlier.
From Igor Shuvalov’s speech at a meeting of the RF Government Commission on Migration Policy. See L.
Grafova, Migratsionnyi razvorot [A U-turn in Migration Affairs] // Rossiiskaia Gazeta [The Russian Gazette]. March 2011.
Similar ‘high and low tides’ in migration policies caused by the proximity of a presidential election were observed even in such a country of traditional immigration as the USA – for more details in this respect, see A. V. Korobkov, SShA – strana immigrantov [The USA is a country of immigrants] // Demoscope Weekly.
2008. No. 351-352. http://demoscope.ru/weekly/2008/0351/index.php RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks And finally, one more innovation introduced in legislation in 2011 is concerned with lowering the rate of personal income tax from 30% to 13% for the participants in the Government Program Compatriots and their families who have permanently resettled in Russia1.
A large number of issues, and first of all the necessity to promote the adaptation and integration of migrants and their families into local communities, have remained outside of the focus of existing Russian legislation on migration.
5.3. Results of 2011 in the Educational System 5.3.1. Main Drivers of the Educational System’s Advancement in The main drivers behind the advancement and functioning of Russia’s educational system were as follows:
• like in recent years, the major factor was the demographic one;
• not yet implemented factor became the transition to three types of institutions: public, budget and autonomous ones. That said, the factor is expected to play a notable part in the sector’s development in years to come;
• a sizeable fraction of the population continued to conceive of USE as a negative factor fuelling degradation of the complete secondary education and the tertiary one;
• transition to the level-based system of the tertiary education thus far has fallen short of manifesting itself and has not stepped into the limelight; it is most likely to be 2013-when it would start playing a notable role, with Bachelors en masse entering the market.
The Masters’ coming to the market passed unnoticed, as their specific weight in the overall number of university graduates still was insignificant, albeit posted some increase: from 1.4% in 2009 up to 1.75% in 2011;