1.6 million people unemployed in Russia

Moscow, February 14 (Itar-Tass) Around 1.607 millionunemployed people have been officially registered in Russiaas of February 1 this year, prompting the President to hold ameeting on employment related problems.

Over the past several weeks the head of state hasrepeatedly addressed this issue and promised to keep a closewatch on unemployment rates.

"Of late we managed to reduce the unemployment rates andbring the employment dynamics to the pre-crisis level.

Nevertheless, a great number of people remain jobless. But themain thing is that it is necessary to learn how to managethese processes," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov briefed thepresident last week that the most difficult situation withunemployment was registered in 2009, when the total number ofthose jobless reached up to 9.2 per cent of the country''sactive population.

Medvedev praised regional employment programs that helped200,000 people to start their own businesses and use statesubsidies.

At present, such programs focus on self-employment,employment of disabled persons and vocational retraining.

Employment in the so-called one-industry towns that madeup around 200 all over the country remains high on the agenda.

The head of state instructed the government to speciallycontrol the situation in this sector.

According to the Cabinet''s plans, in 2011 theunemployment rates in these towns should reduce to 2 per cent.

Earlier the Kremlin''s top economic adviser, ArkadyDvorkovich, stressed the need for drafting own developmentprograms in one-industry towns. (Itar-Tass)

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