No Panic!

Economy of Belarus - - CONTENTS -

The pe­riod of the long-term calm on the la­bor mar­ket was over

Un­til re­cently the Be­laru­sian la­bor mar­ket could be com­pared to an oa­sis of calm. The reg­is­tered job­less rate was three times lower than the pro­jec­tions. The num­ber of va­can­cies was two or three times big­ger than the num­ber of job seek­ers in Be­larus in gen­eral and ten times big­ger in Minsk. Some would even say that there is no need for em­ploy­ment ser­vices as those who want to work will be able to find a job eas­ily hav­ing such a broad choice of va­can­cies… Th­ese peo­ple disregarded a sim­ple fact: the la­bor mar­ket is a very volatile sec­tor that promptly re­sponds to any changes in the so­cial and eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try and the neigh­bor­ing states and is very sen­si­tive to de­mo­graphic trends. In­deed, it was too early to let our guard down: the pe­riod of the long-term calm on the la­bor mar­ket was over. How­ever, there is no rea­son for panic. A storm is a very un­likely pos­si­bil­ity as the sky is still clear. If needed, em­ploy­ment ser­vices will make use of the broad range of mech­a­nisms they ac­quired over the 30 years of work.

Risk Fac­tors

It should be noted that a long pe­riod of sta­bil­ity cou­pled with an ag­gres­sive em­ploy­ment pro­mo­tion pol­icy has had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the la­bor mar­ket and cre­ated a kind of safety cush­ion. The of­fi­cial un­em­ploy­ment rate re­mains low coun­try­wide (at the end of 2014 it stood at 0.5% of eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive pop­u­la­tion, while the pro­jec­tions were 1.5%) and in all 129 dis­tricts of the coun­try (only in one dis­trict the job­less rate ex­ceeded 1.1%).

In 2014 the av­er­age pe­riod out of work re­duced to 3.2 months (3.4 months in 2013). The un­em­ploy­ment pe­riod for women was 3.7 months, for men 2.9 months and for the youth 2.5 months. In 2014 the job hir­ing pe­riod was 1.4 months (1.7 months for women and 1.3 months for men and young peo­ple).

Last year 159,000 peo­ple were put into newly cre­ated jobs and va­can­cies. The youth em­ploy­ment was boosted by pro­vid­ing train­ing in rel­e­vant pro­fes­sions, mostly upon re­quests of em­ploy­ers (a to­tal of 9,200 peo­ple re­ceived pro­fes­sional train­ing in 2014). Em­ploy­ment ser­vices helped 2,000 un­em­ployed to start a busi­ness. How­ever, it should be noted that the un­em­ployed were not so ea­ger to start their own busi­ness. At the same time, the un­em­ployed are viewed as po­ten­tial busi­ness­men. There­fore, pro­vid­ing sup­port to them is among the pri­or­i­ties of the coun­try’s em­ploy­ment pol­icy, be­cause the pro­mo­tion of small busi­ness means new jobs and more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. In an ef­fort to pro­mote small busi­ness, em­ploy­ment ser­vices should team up with en­trepreneur­ship sup­port cen­ters and busi­ness in­cu­ba­tors. Last year 252 fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing 325 eco­nom­i­cally ac­tive per­sons and 190 chil­dren, were placed into jobs in the ar­eas where la­bor force is scarce. The ge­o­graph­i­cal re­dis­tri­bu­tion of work­force based on the real de­mand for la­bor force and the higher mo­bil­ity of ru­ral pop­u­la­tion are im­por­tant fac­tors

Source: The Min­istry of La­bor and So­cial Se­cu­rity of Be­larus

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