Sberbank reveals rise in unemployment

The level of unemployment in the most stable segment of society (the middle class) increased by the end of last year by 1%, reaching almost 12%, according to Ivanov Consumer Index, a survey by Sberbank, RBC reports.

Analysts of the country’s largest bank define “Ivanov” not as any ordinary Russian but specifically a representative of Russia’s middle class. Overall, more than half of respondents (55%) are afraid of unemployment, which is 4% higher than the year before. At the same time, the share of “Ivanovs” who are afraid of being fired decreased by 4% to 42%.

The middle class’s biggest concern is corruption (over 60% of poll takers), followed by inflation (48%) although this indicator is steadily going down.

“For now, the growth of unemployment is moderate. It is not posing a serious problem (in terms of social stability),” says Sergei Khestanov, economist and Associated Professor at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). “However, it should be remembered that all the major upheavals in Russia (1917 and 1991) started with unemployment rising particularly in big cities where the middle class mostly resides.”

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