Moscow, May 28 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the government and regional authorities to maximize efforts to solve the problem of unemployment, which has risen drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The preservation of jobs and incomes of Russian families from the very beginning of the fight against the consequences of the epidemic has become the most important priority in our work,” Xinhua news agency quoted Putin as saying at a meeting on Wednesday.
The authorities need to offer accelerated courses, training and retraining programs for those who have lost their jobs, he said.
The situation on the labour market in Russia is better than that in a number of developed countries, Labour Minister Anton Kotyakov said at the meeting.
He said that thanks to measures adopted to support businesses and the population, Russia has managed to avoid a significant increase in the number of the unemployed.
Earlier this month, Putin said that the number of officially registered unemployed people in Russia reached 1.4 million, twice as many as in early April.
Russians who have officially registered as having lost their jobs after March 1 are entitled to a monthly unemployment benefit of 12,130 rubles ($170).
Putin, at the meeting, agreed to extend such benefits to those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to October 1.
According to Kotyakov, the situation on the labour market may remain difficult in the second and third quarters, but it is expected to stabilize in the fourth quarter and show positive dynamics in the first or second quarter of 2021.