Moscow. May 7. INTERFAX.RU — Reduction of wages and the expansion of underemployment will constrain the growth of unemployment in Russia, said in comments of the Central Bank in the economy.

“Adjustment of the labour market to the economic slowdown, according to Bank of Russia estimates, may occur largely through lower wages and increasing underemployment, which will keep the unemployment”, — noted in the review.

According to the calculations of the Central Bank, in March 2020, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Russia rose to 4.6% from 4.4% in February. “The increase in unemployment has occurred in the conditions of reduction of demand for labour” — note in Bank.

“Individual research indicates the growth of underemployment. According to research by the Centre for strategic research devoted to the behavior of the business in terms of the spread of coronavirus and measures to combat it, one of the forms of adaptation to the suspension of production activities for the period of the regime of non-working days in Russia was the increase in hidden unemployment (transfer of employees on part-time leave without pay, etc.)”, — stated in the review.

CB also refers to surveys that confirmed that part of the employees were sent on leave (paid or unpaid), respondents noted a reduction in wages and other payments, and unpaid wages. In addition, employers allowed arrears of wages.

According to Bank of Russia estimates, in the first quarter of 2020 the growth of real wages in Russia amounted to 5.5−6%. “Despite the support of the growth of labor income in the first quarter real disposable income declined slightly in annual terms (minus 0.2%). Weak dynamics was probably due to lower other income (including hidden), and faster growth in interest and other obligatory payments”, — noted in the Bank.