More Belarusians Leave To Work Abroad, Authorities Worried

Almost 93,000 Belarusians were working abroad in Q1 2019, according to a sample survey by Belstat, TUT.BY reports. Statistics include workers who spent less than a year abroad.

Journalists note that the stats on migrant workers vary depending on whether they are provided by Belarus or another country.

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In 2018, the number of Belarusian labor migrants who didn’t change their permanent residence totaled 95.4 thousand people. Commenting on the figure, MP Mikhail Myasnikovich admitted that external labor migration is a problem for Belarus, “especially when it comes to highly qualified workers”.

Over the past years, more and more Belarusians have been finding work in other countries. Namely, labor migration has been steadily rising from 39.4 thousand workers in 2015 to 59.5 in 2016 and 83,000 in 2017. That year 83.9% of Belarusians labor migrants worked in Russia.

The numbers from the migration and citizenship department of the Internal Ministry state that record 11,000 Belarusians emigrated in search of work in 2018.

It must be kept in mind that numbers of Belarusian labor migrants differ when provided by the authorities of other countries. For example, according to the Internal Ministry of Belarus, two Belarusians were employed in Latvia last year. According to the data of the Latvian side, there were 1824 of them.

A matter of concern

Belarusian authorities have repeatedly raised the issue of labor migration. For example, there’s a plan to prepare a decree to allow bonuses to medical workers.

Already in action is the decision to raise the wages of construction workers. As the Ministry of Construction and Architecture reported, builders made 50% of all working migrants in 2017.

Alexander Lukashenko spoke about  the retention of human resource in construction in November 2018:

“In recent years there has been a significant outflow of specialists. In five years the industry has lost over 50,000 workers, the best workers. They find jobs abroad.”

Back in August 2018, the president drew attention to the problem of low wages and labor migration. According to him, every fourth Belarusian, who left to work abroad, came from the Vitebsk region.

The Federation of Trade Unions also voiced their concern on the matter. specialists are convinced that in order to curb labor migration it is necessary “to provide workers with up-to-date retraining as well as increase wages“.