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Unemployment in the Republic of Tajikistan

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In the century of technological progress and automatization of production in some countries the rise of unemployment is not a new phenomenon. But the causes of unemployment in Tajikistan are slightly different, mainly due to internal factors similar to those which are inherent in developing and poor countries. The development of all aspects of any country highly depends on its people and its ability to create all conditions for workers to thrive. Nowadays, human capital is indeed very crucial for the economy and the development of a state heavily dependents on it. Failing which, has a negative consequence both for the state as well as for the economy as a whole. Unfortunately, we observe this particular situation in Tajikistan. So, in coming three paragraphs main causes such as quality of education, low wages, demographics will be examined.

The first cause of unemployment in Tajikistan is quality of education. It matters for long term and investment in education is investment in the future, its absence badly impacts all aspects of society. Unfortunately, in Tajikistan it is a big issue. According to the World Bank, “Problems include: the relevance of results from a predominantly supply-driven orientation to skills development, weak linkages between education institutions and the labor market, obsolete education standards, and curricula that are not based on occupational and functional analysis. The lack of a functioning and independent qualifications system exacerbates the challenge of reducing inefficiencies due to unnecessary or irrelevant education and training provision.” According to the same report about 1.8 million people of Tajikistan neither employed nor studying; as a human capital of Tajikistan they are being underused, about 2.3 million working-age population of Tajikistan are not in the job market, and out of total 4.06 million working-age population almost 1.8 million are not investing in their education and not contributing to the Tajikistan’s economy. The result of the survey conducted by the World Bank in 2013 showed that 1/3 of companies train their employees, the percentage of small firms which would probably do it is 21.7%, medium and large forms 43% and 52.6%, respectively. As a result of lack of education, mismatch of skill and low level of competence discourage people to look for a job. The most vulnerable ones are young population. It was reported that significant number of young Tajik people, more than 15 percent are not looking for a job in the Republic, but seeking jobs outside of the county.

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The second cause of unemployment is low wage. Many people in Tajikistan only have disposable income which is enough to satisfy basic needs, without having savings for future unexpected expenses. According to a research done by Nasridini Asliddin, Behrooz Gharleghi there is strong correlation between low wages and unemployment in Tajikistan. According to another source, Sputnik International in 2017 the average salary in Tajikistan was 1083.7 TJS (123 USD) which is the lowest among CIS countries. The government regularly increases welfare by increasing salaries. In the short-tern it contributes to well-being but, eventually, due to rise of inflation and depreciation of national currency (by 6-7% on average annually ) the effect of salary raise almost not significant. Aa a result, the employees do not see perspective in their current jobs and quit, thus, creating a frictional unemployment.

The third and the last cause of unemployment is demographics. According to the World bank report, “Total job creation has kept pace with population growth, though too many of these jobs were created in the informal sector…. Since 2006, the Tajikistan’s population has increased by 17 percent, while formal employment rose by only 10 percent. In other words, formal sector employment did not keep pace with population growth, and hence, informal sector job growth made up for the shortfall.” Moreover, the fertility rate in Tajikistan is very high and it is likely to increase. According to the same source working-age population share will increase from 54% in 2000 to about 65% in 2050. Furthermore, working-age population of 40,000 people will enter the labor force and it is believed that it will reach 7.04 million by 2030. High rate of population growth, lack of qualification and other factors force people to emigrate mainly to Russia to fined a job and even obtain citizenship. According to the Russian Interior Ministry cited by Asia Plus, “The number of Tajik nationals getting Russian passport has reportedly increased also nearly three times – from 9,773 people in 2012 to 29,039 people in 2017.” Moreover, the number of Tajiks frequently going to Russia to find a job is several times high. According to Kabar – Kyrgyz National News Agency the number of Tajik labor migrants in Russia was around 640,000 as of 2017.

Tajikistan has been going through hardships and the problems will probably deteriorate if they are not solved soon. It is inherent for such countries as Tajikistan to face challenges and progress through wise and timely reforms. Every country has different causes of unemployment. In the case of Tajikistan there are more and the most frequently mentioned ones are lack of education, low wage and demographics. To overcome these difficulties, Tajik government might reconsider its strategic social and economic plans; to having a society-oriented strategy and educational program, but it is another topic of discussion. In the meanwhile, the only think than can be said is that these 3 factors main cause of current unemployment and forced emigration.

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