The new legislative documents do not envisage any options of setting “floating quotas,” which is important and profitable for certain categories of employers: for instance, even in the case they need seasonal workers they will have to obtain an nual permits and pay the respective state duty. As it turns out, in order to avoid fre quent rotation of workers employers operating in such industries as construction or agriculture will be interested to either register their employees for longer periods, or attract laborers able to perform different operations, for instance painting and electrical works. This situation is unfavorable primarily for small and medium sized companies, since large companies will be able to shift workers from one project to another.
A similarly important problem is related to the fact that foreign migrants are prohibited for employment in retail trade. There are several economic conse quences of this decision.
The Federal Migration Service of Russia evaluates the number of migrants from the CIS member countries present in Russia to make 10 million persons, i.e. it is significantly above the quota intro duced on the initiative of this organization.
Pertseva E. Kvota na gastarbaitera (Quota for the migrant worker) // Gazeta. December 1, 2006.
Problemy nezakonnoi migratsii v Rossii: realii i poisk resheniy (po itogam sotsiologicheskogo ob sledovaniya) (Problem of irregular migration in Russia: reality and search for solutions (results of the sociological survey) / IOM, Bureau of the International Organization for Migration in Russia. M.:
Gendalf, 2004. p. 497.
Section Social Sphere The Russian labor market, which has been characterized by “non market” be havior for a long time since the beginning of market reforms, is, in fact, only form ing, the mechanisms of its internal tuning are not completely clear, and the real re gional occupational proportions lack clear understanding8. In this situation, attempts to regulate one dynamically developing sector of the economy9 across the whole territory of the country seem to be an example of a premature decision failing to take into account regional specifics. In a number of Russia’s regions, especially those neighboring with Ukraine and, especially, with China, the consequences of implementation of Resolution No. 683 can seriously complicate life of the local population, which is used to buy clothes and footwear (at least) at Chinese, Viet namese, Ukrainian and other ethnic markets. Here, it should be noted that there have already been made certain attempts to replace foreigners with Russia’s citi zens in the Far East and in Siberia; however, all these attempts completely failed:
markets practically suspended operations, but the number of domestic vendors there did not grow10.
Besides, the measures undertaken by the government to improve competi tiveness of domestic goods as compared with goods imported to markets by mi grants should result in a growth in prices and higher inflation rates, especially in border towns and regions. However, it can hardly be expected that foreign employ ees really leave this sector of the economy. Most probably, there will occur yet an other surge of shadow economy in this sphere, what no doubt bring about all usual consequences: growing prices of goods including all “migration risks”, rampant corruption, increasing staff of regional governmental agencies engaged in the en forcement of the new Resolution.
An analysis of the data collected in the course of different sociological surveys of migrants reveal that retail trade absorbs from 25 per cent to 45 per cent of for eign employees11. Simple computation demonstrates the following:
It should be noted that regional occupational proportions lack clear understanding not only in Rus sia, where the labor market is not very flexible as yet. “Ascertaining labour scarcity for each and every occupation at specific points in time, and for each region within a country, is difficult, so that governments inevitably use simple labour market tests and allow agencies considerable latitude in administering labour market based migration policies. In some cases, the government takes a lais sez faire approach.” See: Towards a fair deal for migrant workers in the global economy. Report VI.
International Labor Conference, 92nd Session, 1 17 June 2004, International Labor Office. Geneva, p. 118.
By the way, it should be noted that although at present it is only one sphere of activities, perhaps in the future the number of such spheres will increase. At least the respective Resolution (No. 683) permits to advance proposals aimed at the limitation of foreign employees in other sectors of the economy as well.
See, for instance: Dyatlov V., Kuznetsov R. ‘Shankhai’ v tsentre Irkutska. Ekologiya kitaiskogo rynka (‘Shanghai’ in the center of Irkutsk. Ecology of the Chinese market / Baikalskaya Sibir: iz chego skladyvayetsya stabilnost (Baikal Siberia: what is stability composed of) / Editorial board: V. I.
Dyatlov, S. A. Panarin, M. Ya. Rozhansky – M.; Irkutsk: Natalis, 2005. p.p. 166 Prinuditelnyi trud v sovremennoi Rossii: nereguliruyemaya migratsiya i torgovlya lyudmi (Forced labour in the Russian Federation today: irregular migration and trafficking in human beings). M.: ILO, 2004. p. 52.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks - from 1 to 2 million people will loose their jobs and will have to flow to other sec tors of the economy, return to their countries of origin, or become illegal aliens;
- due to the fact that until now in Russia, similarly to other East European coun tries, foreign employees have been primarily concentrated in only two sectors – trade and construction – the measures aimed to close one of these sectors for migrants should trigger massive redistribution processes on the labor market;
- even if it is assumed that local population really begins to sell goods at markets (the development, in which the Russia’s citizens do not strongly believe them selves, basing on the evidence presented by the data published by VTsIOM12), it will require a whole army of handlers of goods, assistant workers, sorters of merchandize, and other unskilled laborers, which could be even harder to em ploy among the local population than vendors.
Among the main positive developments there should be mentioned the legally set option for employers or contactors of works (services) to attract and use for eign workers arriving from visa free countries without permits for attraction of for eign employees on notification basis. It means that employees entering Russia without visas become free agents and will be able relatively free compete with the local residents for jobs, what, in the end, should prevent declines in the prices of labor in certain spheres of activities and result in a rise in labor productivity.
However, the stipulations set by the “Rules, under which executive agencies should determine the requirements for attraction of foreign employees and forma tion of quotas for labor activities performed by foreign citizens in the Russian Fed eration,” in accordance with which employers should submit applications informing the respective regional agencies about their needs for foreign employers for the next year until May 1 of the current year, will still make the life of employers difficult.
The exactly same time – until May 1 of the current year – employers will have to ad just their applications.
At last, it should be noted that in 2007, the first year of enforcement of the new migration legislation, the most important thing will be the lack of clear and trans parent procedures governing registration of migrants, issuance of work permits and developed rules and regulations rather than changes in the respective legisla tive framework.
Materials of a collective study “Transformatsiya postsovetskogo prostranstva: otrazheniye v migrat siyakh” (Transformation of the Post Soviet Space: Its Reflection in Migrations) (2002 – 2005) (Grant No. 980 0789 3 of the Ford Foundation) of the Center for Migration Studies, in which the author took part as a contractor.
Almost half of Russia’s citizens (47 per cent) state that they either are ready to take jobs resulting from the restrictions concerning the right of foreigners to work at markets and vending kiosks, or know people, who could take such jobs (36 per cent). However, 40 per cent of respondents stated that they do not know personally any Russia’s citizens ready to take such jobs. Seven per cent of respondents do not believe that Russia’s citizens will be able to efficiently replace foreigners at mar kets. This national poll was conducted by VTsIOM on November 25 and 26 of 2006. There were polled 1600 people in 153 localities situated in 46 oblasts, krais and Republics of the Russian Fed eration. The statistical error of the survey is below 3.4 per cent.
Section Social Sphere The second main objective of the new Russian migration policy will be the at traction of compatriots for permanent residence in the country. The CIS member countries should become the main donor of this process, although the adopted documents concern also other territories. It is planned to implement the adopted Program of voluntary migration of fellow countrymen within three years. The Pro gram envisages facilitation of resettling of 300 families in 12 selected “pilot” re gions (the Primorsky, Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk krais, as well as the Amur, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Kaluga, Lipetsk, Tambov, Tver, and Kaliningrad oblasts). The recipient regions are divided into three categories: “a,” “b” and “c,” depending on their social, economic and demographic situations; respectively, mi grants are eligible for different terms of assistance. For the implementation of the Program there are provided rather significant resources amounting to Rub. 17 bil lion. At the same time, the only direct benefit is a fast granting of citizenship free of bureaucratic barriers. Besides, the government compensates expenditures borne with respect to travel to the new place of residence, payment of the state duty for official registration, provides a compensation package, for which members of the Migration Program are eligible (services of preschool, school and professional education, social amenities, health care and employment service), resettlement benefits (for migrants to regions of the “a” and “b” categories13), monthly allow ances provided in the case migrants have no earnings for the first six months of residence in regions of the “a” category).
As it follows from the adopted documents, the government does not guaran tee employment and housing to migrants. These issues should be (but not neces sarily) solved in the framework of regional resettlement programs. On the one hand, such an approach offers migrants an opportunity to solve economic prob lems they face, does not provide grounds for excessive expectations, which could not be satisfied, and can become one of indirect criteria for selection of migrants:
no compatriots from economically and socially inactive groups of the population will not migrate on such terms. Besides, such measures should prevent complaints on the part of local residents, since the traditionally most important issue in Rus sia – the housing problem – is not solved in the framework of this Program by giving priority to migrants. On the other hand, in the situation, where the contingent of the most mobile population of the Republics of the former Soviet Union has already left these territories, whereas those remaining in the CIS member countries have al ready adapted to the changed political conditions existing in the former Republics, where are observed no armed conflicts and economies are mostly developing at rates exceeding those observed in Russia, the measures envisaged by the Program can prove to be insufficient to motivate people resettle to Russia. In this case, the measures envisaged by the Program can fail to attain its objectives.
The Head of the RF Federal Migration Service, K. Romodanovsky, whose or ganization was vested with the development and implementation of the Program, has published the estimates concerning the inflow of compatriots in the framework For the people migrating to regions of “a” category this amount should make Rub. 100 thousand, for migrants to regions of “b” category this amount should make Rub. 70 thousand.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks of the Program: up to 50 thousand persons in 2007, up to 100 thousand persons in 2008 and up to 150 thousand persons in 200914. Thus, the estimated inflow should make about 300 thousand people over three years15. At the same time, the imple mentation of the Program, however well it is thought out, can encounter two seri ous difficulties: the unwillingness of the new independent states, which also face demographic problems (at present or in the future), to let go their citizens wishing to migrate to Russia, and the growing phobias of the Russian population with re spect to migrants and certain ethnic groups. As yet, state institutions has not clearly thought out and designed the policies they should pursue with respect to promotion of the Program concerning the attraction of compatriots, development of a campaign against anti migrants attitudes of the Russian society and the over coming of their own imperial mentality resulting in the firm belief that if Russia wishes it, millions of former Soviet citizens will flow to the country.
4.3.3. Dynamics and structure of migration flows The official data characterizing migration processes provide evidence that the number of migrants is insufficient to compensate for the natural decline in the size of the Russia’s population not to mention the future decrease in the able bodied population group.
According to the data presented by Rosstat, the size of the Russia’s resident population made 142.3 million people as on November 1, 2006, thus declining by 479.6 thousand people, or 0.34 per cent, over the first 10 months of 2006 (in com parison with the figures registered as on the respective date of the preceding year, the size of the Russia’s population fell by 615.5 thousand people, or 0.43 per cent).
In January through October of 2006, the natural decline in the size of the population made 114.3 thousand people in comparison with the figures registered in the re spective period of 2005. The migration based increase in the population compen sated the decline by 18.1 per cent.
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