Labour migration in Russia and the CIS countries: social and economic significance and approaches to regulation
Sergey V. Ryazantsev
Labour migration in the CIS has become a large-scale significant socio-economic phenomenon. According to our estimation, 8-11 million people or approximately 6-8% of economically active population of the region is involved in it. The principal cause of labour migration is the differentiation according to socio-economic indices in the CIS countries. Against the background of the decline in the living standard, production curtailing and unemployment growth, some states of the region, Russia and Kazakhstan, are notable for their socio-economic stability, high labour market capacity and high wage standards. According to the official statistics, the number of legal labour migrants working in Russia had a tendency towards growth. In 2003 it made up about 380 thousand, in 2004 - more than 460 thousand, in 2005 - 750 thousand people. Thus the share of gastarbeiters in the structure of the employed population of Russia remained scarce - about 1%. The ratio of manpower attracted from the CIS countries and “the old abroad”, was nearly equal. The objective state of demographic processes in Russia urges our country to the necessity of close migration interaction with its neighbours. The Russian economy requires labour recourses right now. Additional manpower will be necessary in the conditions of economic growth. In this connection we suggest creating the Common demographic space according to the agreement with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, in the framework of which all the obstacles put to temporary and constant migrants will be removed. To realize the idea it is necessary to preserve a visa-free regime and the opportunity for reciprocal trips under internal passports, cancel the labour permits, and introduce informative registration and a simplified way of obtaining residential permits and granting citizenship.