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Government experts have called the exact number of working poor Russians

Эксперты правительства назвали точное число бедных работающих россиян

According to the calculations of the analytical center, can not provide more than 12 million people

Sixth of all workers in Russia cannot provide for themselves and their families, says the Bulletin of the analytical center under the government of the “Working poor in Russia and abroad”. Their earnings in 2016 was below the subsistence minimum of the working population.

According to Rosstat, wages below the subsistence level gets about 2 million Russians (7.3 per cent operating in April 2017). If we take into account not only wages, but other income and that this income is spent on family members, the number of working poor has grown significantly – about 12.1 million people in 2016, or 16.8% of the population, says the expert of management of social policy of the analytical center Vladimir Trubin.

Golodets called the poverty working Russians a unique phenomenon

The main share of poor in Russia are working people with children, whose salary does not exceed 2 times the subsistence minimum, if two children, and 1.5 the subsistence minimum, if a child, says the Director of the Institute for social policy, HSE Ovcharova. About 60% of all poor are people of working age, of these, 90% work.

The proportion of poor workers in the public sector 4 times more than in private, although private enterprises employs two-thirds of those employed, stated in the Bulletin. And the gap is growing: in 2011 it was two-fold. The state saves on salaries in the future may face a serious shortage of personnel.

In the public sector really concentrate workers with low wages, said Deputy Director of the Centre for labour market studies HSE Rostislav Kapelyushnikov, there usually are women, the elderly, low education, low labour discipline.

Poverty against growth

The fact that more than 10 million working Russians can’t provide a decent life for themselves and their family, cannot be considered a normal situation, it said in the Bulletin. Even if the work extends more family members out of poverty, it is usually not selectable, said Trubin: to substantially increase your income, you need to acquire a new profession, to raise the level of education or to move, and the labor market does not provide enough jobs with higher wages and retaining professional status. That is poverty and stimulate employment generation, which does not lead to higher incomes. Poor families of 2-3 people, two of them work very little, argues Kapelyushnikov, mainly families with many dependants – children, the unemployed, pensioners.

In Russia there is no such qualification that is “worthy” of the Russian minimum wage – 7800 rubles, indicated in the spring of the social Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets and offered “a substantive dialogue” with the companies that pay so little their employees. The minimum wage should not be below the subsistence level of the employable population is a requirement of the Labor code that is not executed, it is noted in the Bulletin. The requirement is not violated – its execution postponed until the necessary law to the representative of the Ministry of labor. In September to equate the minimum wage to the subsistence level requested by President Vladimir Putin, after only a week the government approved a bill that as of 1 January 2018, the minimum wage will increase to around 85% of the subsistence minimum as of 1 January 2019 up to 100%. This will reduce poverty and inequality, says a representative of the Ministry of labor. But the problem of poverty will not solve, sure Trubin: the minimum wage is calculated based on the cost of the consumer basket, whose composition does not correspond to rational consumption norms of a healthy person. First, the government saves on salaries, and then loses on the health care of people with diseases and underweight, he says. Such savings slows down economic growth continues Trubin: poor people lack the motivation to improve productivity, many go into the informal employment and enterprise in the presence of cheap labour are not interested to introduce new equipment, improve production technology. In addition, such people require social support: in the past year, regular and one-time payments from regional budgets received 3.7 million people – about 29 billion rubles.

Such a large number of working poor is shows the weakness of the middle class in Russia, said Ovcharov: we cannot get a successful post-industrial economy. People abandon labor in favor of unskilled, specified in the report of the Commissioner for human rights for 2015: young skilled workers move from manufacturing to services, where can I get more money for less skilled work, low wages create shortages of personnel in some industries. A doctor in Russia earn on average only 20% more of the driver, noted the analysts of the Boston Consulting Group, while in the US the difference is 261%, Germany – 172% and even in a developing Brazil – 174%.

The number of people of working age in Russia is declining, unemployment, and so close to historic lows, continue to fall, wages to rise, which will impact on the incomes of people, said the representative of the Ministry of economic development. Part of the problem of the working poor in the public sector decided to increase the salaries of certain employees of health, education and science in accordance with the may decrees Putin. But even in these sectors are categories of workers not covered by the decrees, said Trubin. On July 1, 2017 decrees on increase of salaries was left to carry by 16%, the Central Bank wrote in the report on monetary policy, “newcassel” the salaries of state employees in the next three years will be indexed for inflation.

The number of working poor will be reduced at the expense of the private sector, according to the authors newsletter. The problem of the working poor needs to be reflected in strategic policy documents of the state, to define targets for indicators that suggest they also need to improve the assessment of poverty, a living wage and the minimum wage. Nothing good comes from the fact that the minimum wage equal the living wage, should not wait, says Kapelyushnikov, increasing the minimum wage without work, there would be more people – they will move into the informal sector, and businesses – to get all the more incentive to pay illegal wages.


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