Russia stops publishing unemployment numbers; seeks to avoid social unrest

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by makloda, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. This is how you manage a crisis and generate confidence seemingly out of thin air. The Russians and Chinese got it figured out. Propaganda and Gestapo tactics working hand in hand.

    MOSCOW, April 22 (Reuters) - Russia's statistics office will make monthly jobless reports secret, a newspaper reported on Wednesday days after data showed unemployment was soaring fast and experts said it was the biggest threat to social stability.

    On Monday, Rosstat reported that some 1.8 million Russians lost their jobs in the first three months of 2009, taking the jobless rate to an 8 year-high.

    But it was the first time it did not reveal monthly figures and Kommersant business daily quoted unnamed sources as saying reports would now be made public only on a quarterly basis. Rosstat declined to comment.

    According to Reuters calculations, unemployment hit 11.9 percent in March from 8.5 percent in February, assuming previous data was unrevised. Some 500,000 Russians lost jobs in January, some 300,000 in February and the latest data suggested a record 700,000 became unemployed in March.

    Officials had been saying that the worst of the crisis may be over for Russia, taking heart from higher global oil prices, a stabilisation of the rouble and a recovery in domestic stocks.

    But international financial organisations, such as the World Bank, have said the economic slump could be much deeper than the government's predictions and urged Russia to boost spending to stave off social unrest.

    "The shift (in jobless data reporting) could imply a huge leap in March that Rosstat is seeking to smooth over with this new reporting method," said Rory MacFarquhar from Goldman Sachs.

    "A more sympathetic - and optimistic - explanation would be that the statistical authorities have simply decided to stop interpolating monthly figures from less frequent household employment surveys to avoid distortions that have arisen during the current turmoil on the labour market," he added.

    The government expects an economic contraction of just 2.2 percent in 2009, but international organisations and think tanks have said the slowdown could be at least twice as sharp.

    Steering Russia through the financial crisis after years of oil-fuelled economic boom poses a key challenge for President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

    At 7.1 million [ID:nMOS005419], the number of unemployed is already over a million higher than the Economy Ministry forecasts for 2009 as a whole [ID:nLI604919] as companies slash jobs in the face of falling global and domestic demand and the inability to attract fresh financing.

    Rosstat uses international methods to calculate jobless rates and its figures come in sharp contrast with official jobless rates of the state employment office, which says there are only 2 million jobless in Russia.
  2. The best way to avoid social unrest in Russia?... Free vodka for all! :cool:
  3. Treat everybody like mushrooms... "keep them in the dark while feeding them horse shit!"
  4. What's next? They'll start hiding M3 money supply?
  5. :p
  6. Only a completely tyranical regime would dare to do this.

    Wait!, What?, We?
    We already did it?
  7. eest13


    I'm not sure if Reuters have their facts straight. It seems a little bit unbelievable... Here is what WSJ had to say on this subject.

    "As a result, he said, Rosstat will no longer release monthly estimates, just the quarterly results." - WSJ


    MOSCOW -- The ranks of Russia's jobless swelled by 400,000 in March and are likely to keep growing, according to new estimates from Russia's government statistics agency, Rosstat.

    The data for March put the unemployment rate at 10%, the highest in eight years, up from a revised 9.5% rate in February.

    The figures have already exceeded official estimates for the 2009 average unemployment rate of 8.2% and seem to belie official statements that the growth of joblessness is slowing. Rosstat Tuesday revised its jobless total for February to 7.1 million from the previous 6.4 million.

    The Rosstat figures are based on household surveys taken every three months, with interim figures estimated. Rosstat's totals are typically substantially higher than the official numbers of Russians registered for the government's modest unemployment benefits.

    Rosstat head Vladimir Sokolin told reporters Wednesday that the economic crisis has complicated the estimation process his agency uses to generate its monthly jobless figures, extrapolating from the quarterly surveys. As a result, he said, Rosstat will no longer release monthly estimates, just the quarterly results.

    "When the situation is unstable all trends are out of sync," Mr. Sokolin said. "It is a thankless task." Conducting the broad national surveys on a monthly basis would be too expensive, he said.

    " Mr. Sokolin suggested the actual unemployment numbers are even higher, since official figures don't include hidden unemployment or the wave of migrant workers who have returned to their home countries as Russia's economy has contracted. "It is very difficult to measure these figures statistically," he said

    Mr. Sokolin said the jobless total is likely to continue to grow. "The graduation season is approaching, and from these numbers you can see that we can get a continued growth of unemployment," he said. Young people currently make up a third of the jobless total, he said. "