More than a third of Russians are braced for layoffs and wage cuts
According to a new poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), more than a third of all Russians expect cutbacks where they work, as well as wage losses and delays in getting their paychecks.
According to VTsIOM’s new survey, 38 percent of Russians say they believe layoffs will affect them or their loved ones, and another 7 percent of Russians either say they’re already affected or are certain they will be. About half of those polled don’t expect to to be affected by layoffs at all.
About a third of those polled said they might face delays in getting their paychecks (37 percent) or even reductions of their wages (35 percent). About 30 percent of Russians expect to be furloughed or forced into working part-time.
Between February 4 and February 11, 2015, the Ministry of Labor recorded rising unemployment levels in 80 different regions of Russia. The number of jobless persons is climbing fastest in Sakhalin, Trans-Baikal, Karelia, Buryatia, and Khakassia.
According to government data from mid-February 2015, there are currently 939,000 people registered as unemployed in Russia. Unemployment benefits are partly determined as a percentage of what individuals earned in the last three months of their previous employment, and there is also a regional coefficient that’s adjusted for local living costs.
Unemployment benefits in Russia are legally required to be no less than 850 rubles ($15) per month, and no greater than 4,900 rubles ($80) per month (though people living in Moscow are allowed to collect up to $95). These parameters haven’t changed since 2009.
Russians can only collect unemployment benefits for 12 months over an 18-month period. Individuals who fail to find a job in this time, however, are eligible to apply for a second round of unemployment benefits, where they’re not allowed to collect benefits for more than 24 months over a 36-month period.