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Belarus' government urged to ensure stability on labor market

MINSK (BelTA) – The government should do its best to retain the skilled workforce, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the session held on 14 May to discuss the current situation on the labor market and the social protection of the population, BelTA has learned.

The session focused on the situation in the Belarusian labor market. “This issue is especially important as it affects the interests of many people and has an impact on the stability of the state,” Alexander Lukashenko noted. He said that he is reported on alarming trends in this area. “The number of employed population is falling, the number of part-time employees is on the rise,” Alexander Lukashenko stated.

The President reminded those present in the session, especially the government, about the priority task: “No matter how difficult it can be, it is essential to preserve qualified workforce. You should do your utmost to fulfill this task.” The head of state urged the participants of the session to provide an objective evaluation of the situation. The President was informed about the reasons for emerging problems and the things that impede their resolution. He was also briefed about the measures that have to be taken to promote employment and to ensure stability in the labor market.

A special group was monitoring the situation in the regions. The session focused on the reasons for the negative trends.

At the beginning of the session Alexander Lukashenko asked all reporters to speak to the point and not to avoid pressing topics. “It is essential to unveil the true reasons for the ongoing processes and to work out measures of prompt response,” the head of state said.

“We cannot allow tension in the society and labor market. This is the main priority for the government and local authorities. Social tension is not the main point. The main point is that every person should have a right to work, an opportunity to get a job to make a living and provide for a family. This is the main issue,” Alexander Lukashenko stressed.

The President was told that the situation on the Belarusian labor market is controllable and rather stable. Previous and current decisions allow keeping the rate of unemployment within socially acceptable limits and to ensure necessary guarantees for the population.

The passing of the ordinance on preventing freeloading in April 2015 had a strong impact on the level of unemployment. External labor migration also has an impact on the situation. For instance, in 2014 the inflow of migrant workers from Ukraine increased three times to almost 18,000 people. The majority of them found blue-collar jobs. The situation in this segment of the labor market is under control.

At the same time, negative trends in the economy emerged under the influence of external crises. The majority of companies manage to find a way out, and cope with the crisis phenomena themselves. However, the situation at a number of manufacturing and construction enterprises is more difficult.