Migrant labour in the Russian economy: a burden or a blessing?

Viktoria A. Koretskaya-Garmash


The article discusses the potential threats and benefits of external labour migration for the Russian economy through establishing cause-effect relations between the migration processes and the current economic situation. The analysis of statistical data on the development of Russian regions and on the demographic, migration, and financial trends in the country allows us to assess the potential risks of using the labour of external migrants. External migration may damage the Russian economy: it may result in depreciation of the Russian rouble; a growing de cit in the balance of payments; and in an increasing loads on the country’s pension system. We should not forget, however, that external migration can also bring a number of benefits: it can rejuvenate the population and supply human resources to those Russian regions which experience the shortages of the workforce for blue-collar jobs. Moreover, migrants make contributions to the federal budget by paying fees for work patents. The state government may use the results of this research to improve its migration and labour policy and to develop a state program to stimulate external and internal migrants to find employment in workforce shortage areas. This research shows the connection between labour migration and economic activity of local population; reveals the factors of external labour migration; and analyzes the effect migration has on the host country.


unemployment; poverty; migrants; human capital; external labour migration; employment; balance of payments; economically active population; tax payments; budget

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15826/recon.2016.2.3.034

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