Sergei Tsukhlo, Head of the Business Surveys Department of the Gaidar Institute has presented to the Kommersant daily  the findings of the study that nearly a third of Russian industrial enterprises may face record-high labor shortages because of the partial mobilization.

According to this study, this is the lowest indicator of the labor market situation in the past 30 years since 1993. In the light industry, the estimate of labor shortages is record-high, but in terms of sectors labor shortages are not homogeneous. Corporate HR departments believe that this problem is exaggerated and a third of companies surveyed by the Gaidar Institute are confident that the problem can be resolved by active hiring of new workers. After the completion of the partial mobilization in the Russian Federation, the Russian industry complained about the record-high labor shortages in the past 30 years, experts of the Gaidar Institute conclude.

According to the latest studies carried out by experts of the Gaidar Institute in October, the Russian industry was one of the sectors which registered substantial labor shortages after the mobilization. At month-end, the indicator of the balance of estimates of staff provision adequacy turned out to be in a “deep minus” (–30% in the balance of responses) which means that nearly a third of the industry will face this problem. According to the authors of the report, the largest labor shortages were registered in the light industry (–70%), engineering (–35%) and food manufacturing (–25%).

The previous decrease in the estimates of staff provision adequacy took place in February 2022 (–26%). The authors of the report explain it by enterprises’ optimism about the exit from the “COVID” crisis. Another fall in estimates took place in 2007 (–27%). So, according to the representatives of the industry, the current level of staff provision has become the record-low in the entire period of business surveys carried out by the Gaidar Institute in the past 30 years since 1993.

Assessing the effects of labor shortages, the industry reports that, first of all, it will be infeasible to increase output even if demand picks up (48% of the respondents, a 15-p.p. annual growth of this indicator). Another 30% of the respondents declared that labor shortages would affect the quality of their products and 22% of the respondents feared that they would have to reduce their output volumes even relative to the current level. However, 33% of the respondents declared that they would have to hire actively new workers and believed they would succeed in solving this problem.

At the same time, recruitment portals, the main sites for search for “blue collars”, are divided in their opinions on to what extent such self-assessment by manufacturers of the actual state of their production is realistic. Some argue that the current level of demand for industrial personnel is lower than in February, but it is growing. Others say, on the contrary, that the number of job vacancies in the industry fell to -4% this month.