The future of migrants in Russia has been revealed: Asians will leave, Africans will arrive

The future of migrants in Russia has been revealed: Asians will leave, Africans will arrive


Expert Krichevsky: “Refusing foreign labor is stupid”

The life of migrants in Russia has changed. Immediately after the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall with the participation of immigrants from Central Asia, the attention of all supervisory authorities turned to visiting foreigners. Monitoring of employers’ compliance with the law when working with migrants is being strengthened. Inspections of companies where foreign workers account for a significant part of the workforce have intensified. The Ministry of Labor proposes to introduce a two-year limit on employment contracts with migrants. How might the domestic labor market change as a result? Financial analyst, author of the Economism project Alexey Krichevsky told MK about this.

– What is the threat to business from the discovery of violations when hiring migrants?

– The consequences for business have always been the same – fines and orders to sort out the issue either through paperwork, or through refusal of the services of such workers and their deportation at the expense of the state. There can be nothing fundamentally new here. But we need to approach the issues of legalizing migrants with extreme caution, because raids are now being carried out not only on those enterprises where there are traditionally many such workers, but also on “businessmen” who have completed mass registrations or obtained permits, patents, and licenses.

– Will business be able to quickly abandon migrant workers or seriously reduce their number?

– Business will not refuse them. For what? Firstly, let’s just admit that now the issue of migrants is an acute and painful topic that will be relevant for a long time. And the unwinding of the test and control flywheel will ultimately lead to the gradual legalization of this segment. Secondly, migrants earn less than Russians – this is an obvious fact. And, unfortunately, it is more convenient for any employer to save money.

– How will the current situation affect the Russian labor market? Is it possible to satisfy domestic demand at the expense of, let’s say, native Russians?

– If they disperse the masses of illegal immigrants from Central Asia, they will bring them from other states. It is not for nothing that in winter several thousand workers from African countries were brought to Russia, who, for example, were very active in clearing snow in Moscow during snowfalls. Most migrants are recruited to the simplest positions – laborer, janitor, and so on. Will Russians agree to work under the same conditions? Highly unlikely. Receive 30 thousand rubles and sign for 70? The prospect is so-so.

– Should we expect a shortage of taxi drivers, couriers or general workers?

– You definitely shouldn’t expect a shortage of couriers, because most courier services are now quite scrupulous about employment, and you won’t be able to work there without permits. Plus the salaries there are quite decent, so there won’t be a shortage here. This also applies to taxi drivers – no matter what, they don’t put anyone behind the wheel now. But at construction sites there may be a serious shortage of workers, this is true. That’s why the construction lobby grabs its head when it hears ideas about two-year contracts and visa regimes.

– How will employers get out of the situation? Lure people with salaries? Hiring migrants in doses?

– The wage race also cannot last forever – employers will simply lose too much in the profitability of their business and net profit. Therefore, the requirements for filling vacancies will simply be tightened, since the risk of inspections from the relevant authorities has seriously increased.

– Is the Russian economy highly dependent on labor from other countries?

– As officials from some departments said, Russia lacks several million workers. If we remove all illegal immigrants on direct flights to their home countries, then instead of a 1-2 million deficit we will get 4-5. But you need to understand that in 2023, about a million of the economically active population went to work in the military-industrial complex and the Ministry of Defense. Actually, this is where a certain deficit in other areas has arisen.

– Earlier, the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said that there were “virtually no workers left” in the economy. In which areas of activity will the shortage of employees worsen if we refuse the help of migrants?

– Nobody plans to completely abandon foreign labor – this is unrealistic, unprofitable, and simply stupid. Even hypothetically, this is simply impossible to imagine. Again, the statements of some deputies that only Russians and Poland and Hungary cited as examples should work is a banal hype and nothing more. So we will follow a much more logical path – legalization and control, rather than mass expulsion. Because a wave of bans can affect absolutely all sectors of the economy and, so to speak, the “lower floors” of the career ladder. It will be bad for construction, and the service sector, and industry, and various delivery services, and housing and communal services… So there is no need to worry about it here. Yes, control had to be strengthened even before one of the third grades at a school in Kotelniki ended up with only migrant children. But now, I have no doubt, the relevant departments will close this issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.


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