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15 Jan, 2010 16:06

Unemployed looking for quick jobs rebound

President Dmitry Medvedev says Unemployment will remain a serious problem, despite an economy tipped to rebound. Unemployment Estimates range from 2- 6 million, for whom a jobs rebound can’t come soon enough.

Vladimir Ambartsumyan started building his own house 10 years ago – and that’s when he got the idea to get into the construction business.

At the height of the economic slump a year ago, he lost all his contracts, and was left with 2 completed houses. He dismissed his employees and continues to struggle with loan repayments. But he still isn’t putting himself down as unemployed.

"I used to have so much work. I handled 7 projects at the same time. Now for a year I have had no job at all. But I did not register – I see no sense it that. That would be no help and I'm used to relying on myself."

Russia lacks clear unemployment figures. Current estimates for 2009 range from 2 million officially registered as unemployed, to over 6 million according to International labour organization. That is 8% of the economically active population. Matvey Gorbachev, Head of the Moscow Office of Morgan Hunt says there is confusion over the statistics, but notes that a relative lack of small business has worsened Russia’s employment profile in the downturn

“There are different estimates by the local authorities and local state committee, by other agencies, and we don’t know the exact figures of real unemployment. And this is sometimes frustrating and sometimes frightening. And I think that what Russians lack is the desire to build their own careers, and we all know what small businesses face in Russia, and that’s why we are more affected by the crisis.”

President Medvedev says that addressing unemployment remains a key government priority for the coming year. For Russia’s officially unemployed, and underemployed like Vladimir, the rebound can’t come soon enough.