Posted: 22.05.2024 14:40:21

Working for benefit of the country

Ensuring a high level of employment is a distinctive feature of Belarus

The unemployment rate in Belarus, calculated according to the methodology of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is steadily decreasing. For comparison, in 2016 this figure stood at 5.8 percent whereas in the first quarter of 2024 it fell to 3.3 percent. What ensured the positive dynamics?

Atlant CJSC Household Appliances Plant      Ilya Shvedko

From IT to humanities 

The echoes of lockdowns are still heard in the EU countries, and the consequences of inflationary shocks due to the disruption of supply chains make themselves felt. All this has taken its toll on the EU labour market. According to the ILO forecasts, the unemployment rate will continue to rise in Europe with a possibility of increased market imbalance, including staff shortage, a slowdown in labour productivity growth and a decrease in real income of the population against the inflation backdrop.
Belarus currently boasts a low unemployment rate. This figure is significantly higher in the European Union: Spain — 11.7 percent, Greece — 9.2 percent, Sweden — 8.2 percent. Political scientist Vadim Elfimov has noted that the unemployment rate in the West persists at an average of 10-11 percent, “It is generally three to four times higher than in Belarus. In our country, unemployment has been at the level of 3 percent for many years. We live in a socially oriented state, yet at the same time we do not abandon the market features of the economy. Turbulence happens, but thanks to the competent policy pursued in the country, it is under control.” 
The expert is sure that if Western strategists had not imposed sectoral sanctions against Belarusian enterprises, our country’s unemployment rate would have been even lower, 
“Belarusian industrial products are in demand around the world. However, Western markets are closed to us, which creates certain difficulties. Still, even against the background of the existing challenges, the unemployment in Belarus will tend to zero. Now Belarus is developing the Eurasian economic space and actively building the Union State. These steps will open up new markets. Raw materials are supplied to our country without any hindrances. The investment flow is fairly large, which contributes to the constant modernisation of domestic enterprises and ensures demand for their products.” 
It seems that IT specialties will soon cease to be the most desirable. Today, global IT giants are massively cutting staff. According to the political scientist, one of the factors facilitating this situation is the accelerated transition to automation and increased use of artificial intelligence in solving typical and routine tasks. Some operations that previously required human participation can now be performed by a neural network — this allows reducing personnel costs and enhancing work efficiency.
“The world is returning to fundamental knowledge. A smart economy requires a specialist of the future to combine manual and mental labour. The humanitarian sphere will develop, too. American society is technically armed. Yet, what has it come to? Their humanitarian sphere lags behind, social support is underdeveloped. We are witnessing a crisis there — riots, unrest, etc. The reason is that intellectual and spiritual development lag behind technical development. In order for us not to repeat that bitter experience, a lot of attention should be paid to the development of the humanitarian sphere,” Vadim Elfimov emphasised. 

Job fairs and subsidies

According to Zhanna Chernyavskaya, deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, the Belarusian government helps to ensure the maximum possible employment of the population. 
“The Constitution of our country guarantees the right to work to its citizens. Everyone can choose an activity that suits their abilities, education, and professional training. The state, in turn, provides support by ensuring the maximum possible employment of the population. Special attention is paid to taking care of the most vulnerable categories of citizens. Thus, reservation in employment is provided for orphans, young people under the age of 21 (first-time job seekers), the disabled and some other categories. After all, a difficult life situation, lack of experience, or loss of qualifications narrow the possibilities when searching for a suitable job vacancy,” the deputy clarified.  
The parliamentarian also listed other measures aimed at involving citizens in the economy. A state employment service has been established in Belarus, which keeps records of job vacancies, registers the unemployed, organises paid community service, and provides free training and retraining opportunities to those who wish. Job fairs have proved to be effective since they directly connect applicants with employers — both in real-life communication and online. 
“During meetings, unemployed people are explained in detail how they can turn a hobby into a business with the help of state subsidies — that is to start entrepreneurial or craft activities. The amount of money provided for business development does not need to be returned, subject to fulfilment of conditions under the contract,” Zhanna Chernyavskaya pointed out. 
In 2023, about 600 people received state subsidies to launch entrepreneurial and craft activities, and to provide services in agro-ecotourism. 
According to the deputy, it is very important in this regard that the person is ready to take what they are given and leverage this opportunity, because high results are achieved through hard work and conscientious attitude to business, “It is necessary to appreciate everything that has been accumulated and established in our country over the years of independence. Look, large corporations in Germany are now massively cutting personnel, motivating their decision by high energy prices, a weakening economy, and inflation. Thus, Bosch has disclosed its plans to lay off 1,500 ‘extra’ employees this year. The transfer of production to other countries also contributes to unemployment growth. At the same time, against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis in the labour market, Germany is testing a four-day working week. In contrast, Belarus demonstrates care towards the employee not through words but through deeds.”


First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection Natalya Pavlyuchenko summed up the results of the 2nd National Youth Job Fair, which was held in Belarus at the end of April, “It is the second year that we have arranged it. About 2,800 employers offered more than 34,000 job vacancies in various fields of activity — services, trade, catering, industry, healthcare, construction.”
Job fairs give young people an idea of how to earn money and what contribution everyone makes to the development of the country.
“A total of 46,000 young people became participants in such a large-scale event. One in four of this number tentatively agreed on subsequent employment. Last year, over 28,000 young people took part in the job fair,” Natalya Pavlyuchenko specified.

By Kristina Khilko