We will not be left without a job: overview of labour market in Tatarstan

We will not be left without a job: overview of labour market in Tatarstan
Photo: realnoevremya.ru

Tatarstan is finishing the year 2023 with record low unemployment in the region. On the one hand, this is an excellent result: there are very few unemployed people in the republic, on the other hand, it is bad for the economy and its further development: there is a shortage of personnel in the market, especially acute in manufacturing, construction, and retail. Next year, this state of affairs is going to continue to slow down the development of the republican economy and will become a sore point for the leadership of the region. The analytical service of Realnoe Vremya tried to figure out what Tatarstan should do — drain-away staff from neighbours, keep talented young people in place, or attract migrants.

The unemployment rate has been decreasing in Tatarstan for the fourth month in a row. In November of this year, the indicator was 0.24%, down by 0.2% compared to October (it was 0.26%). According to the republican ministry of labour, in November, 4,911 unemployed people were registered in the region (with the number of vacancies declared — 54,336), whereas a month earlier — 5,286.

The average salary in the republic, according to hh.ru , exceeds 50 thousand rubles (50,217 rubles), and the expected value is slightly higher — 53,291. Hh.ru index — 3.3, which indicates a shortage of applicants, but so far uncritical. At the same time, in November 2022, the index was 4.5. The lowest index figure in 2023 was recorded in June at 2.9. In general, the index shows the number of resumes posted per vacancy. If the number of resumes is reduced below 1.9, we can talk about an acute shortage in the labour market.

According to SuperJob estimates, the demand for personnel in Tatarstan has increased 1.5 times over the year. The resumes have increased by only 14%, and the competition for a vacancy has decreased by a quarter. The most sought-after areas with the largest number of vacancies are manufacturing, construction, and retail.

The largest number of vacancies in Tatarstan is in the manufacturing sector (their number increased by 156% over the year), construction is in second place (+54%), retail is in third place (with a vacancy growth rate of 32%), transport and logistics are in fourth place (+51%). It is noteworthy that the information technology sector is only in fifth place, and the dynamics of job growth there is significantly lower (+17%).

The highest-paid vacancies in Tatarstan in December 2023 are in retail, IT, and manufacturing. The sales manager in Naberezhnye Chelny is paid 200 thousand rubles, 1C programmer from Kazan — from 130 thousand rubles, engineer-surveyor — from 120 thousand rubles.

At the same time, highly qualified workers are paid more than 200 thousand rubles per month.

“The trend related to the shortage of personnel is going to develop in the coming years. According to Rosstat forecasts, the consequences of the demographic pit will intensify and the population will continue to decline: by 2030 — by 3 million people, by 2046 — by another 7 million," says Natalia Shcherbakova, the director of sales and marketing at ANCOR.

Today, according to her, there is no universal recipe for solving the problem of shortage of personnel in the market, but there are opportunities to improve the situation with job filling, and employers use several tools for this. “First of all, financial motivation comes into play — the employer offers a higher salary than in the previous job. It really works, but not for long — after six months, valuable employees can be lured away by another competitor who will offer even more money," says Shcherbakova.

It is also possible to actively work with educational institutions: schools, colleges and universities — to introduce young people to the company, help with choosing a profession, conduct internships and select the best students. “Companies can also invest in corporate training and retraining. This will allow them to hire newcomers without the necessary knowledge with the possibility of further training in the job," the expert lists. “And the last important tool in the fight against the shortage of people is the introduction of various technological solutions. Moreover, we are not talking about AI, which is now being actively discussed. Automation of routine processes can significantly improve the efficiency of business processes in a company with fewer people.”

On the Work of Russia portal trudvsem.ru, to date, there are 2 million vacancies, about the same number of people of working age are currently lacked in the country.

“Salaries cannot grow indefinitely, as organisations cannot constantly increase the cost of their services and goods due to the growing burden on the payroll. Market players should remember that employee loyalty is influenced not only by the salary level, but by a number of other factors, the expert recalls. “According to the study of the perception of the employer's brand Talantist, people really most often change jobs if they consider their salary too low — 40%. But then there are such reasons as: loss of interest in work — 32%, lack of career opportunities — 24%, dissatisfaction with the company's management — 24%, excessive workload — 23%, and many other factors. It is the comprehensive work with all these reasons and the strengthening of the employer's brand that will allow companies to more effectively retain key personnel not only with financial motivation.”

“The main limitations of expanding production are the shortage of physical resources, primarily labour, for which companies have to compete with wage growth exceeding the growth rate of labour productivity," agrees Olga Belenkaya, the head of the Macroeconomic Analysis Department at Finam.

The maximum wage growth rates are in the industries often associated with the production of military products, while products used in the military-industrial complex are generally not consumed by the population, but the salaries of employees of these enterprises contribute to an increase in consumer demand, which can exacerbate the imbalance of supply and demand.

Increased wage growth in 2023 in the context of a scarce labour market contributed to an increase in consumption. As the Central Bank has repeatedly noted, wage growth at a rate consistently higher than the rate of labour productivity growth is a pro-inflationary factor, the expert stressed.

“The existing shortage of personnel was formed at the beginning of the two thousandth due to the low birth rate at that time. The birth rate situation then improved somewhat, but since 2014, the birth rate has continued to fall," says Rustem Shayakhmetov, economist and head of R-Invest. “In addition, migrants from Central Asia are increasingly going not to Russia, but to other countries, so the migration influx of the population will not be able to fully compensate for the withdrawal of workers from the Russian economy.”

The problems with the shortage of personnel have a long-term basis, and a surplus of personnel is possible only with a significant drop in production, but this is an unlikely scenario for economic development, he believes.

Now the state urgently needs to take measures to increase the birth rate, otherwise there will be no economic development in the long term. The shortage of personnel and declining domestic demand are the main barrier to the country's development.

Strong regions drain away staff from less successful neighbours. “This practice is flourishing, and stronger regions are the centers of attraction for the workforce. These are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Tatarstan and Krasnodar Krai," Shayakhmetov listed.

The rest of the regions are donors of labour resources for them. Because of this, imbalances in the spatial development of the country are formed, which worsens the socio-economic situation in underdeveloped territories. The state is forced to allocate additional budget allocations to ensure the fulfillment of social obligations, as well as to somehow offset the degradation of weak regions.

Today, the shortage of personnel is the main brake on economic development. And population decline reduces domestic demand. This is reflected in trade, construction, agriculture, the production of children's goods, food, clothing, and shoes.

“Low birth rate is a strategic threat to the sustainable development of the economy, and to the security of the country. Demography should become the main priority of development," the economist is sure.

Employers must urgently address labour productivity, because they have already reached the point where a salary increase leads to a loss-making business. Therefore, we should not expect ultra-rapid growth in real wages in 2024.

To a certain extent, in nominal terms, wages will grow, but due to inflationary processes, there will not be a significant increase in real wages, the expert warns.

Russia urgently needs to address labour-saving projects and the redistribution of resources, abandoning the development of labor-intensive industries with low productivity. But this is the task of the state.

Yulia Garaeva

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