The Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation, has announced a shortage of 200,000 workers in the country’s construction sector.   

TASS reports that speaking at a press conference in Khabarovsk, Yelena Senkevich, Head of the Ministry’s Personnel Center, noted on February 27 that Russia’s construction sector lacks 200,000 workers.

According to her, the current need includes about 200,000 construction workers and 90,000 people for the housing and utilities sector.  

Deputy Head of the Government of the Khabarovsk Krai for Construction Issues, Kerim Sungurov, noted that the Khabarovsk Krai now experiences shortage of about 3,500 construction workers.

In October 2022, the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation suggested to attract the unemployed.  The Ministry’s Public Council reportedly announced a shortage of 3 million to 5 million people.  

“It is necessary to transform the work of retraining centers in the regions, attracting developers to help.  And also to set up mobile construction teams based on them, which could be hired on a contract basis for various projects,” Nadezhda Prokopyeva, Executive Secretary of the Vocational Education Commission at the Ministry’s Public Council, said.  

The number of labor migrants working in Russia’s construction sector falls sharply

Recall, citing the National Builders' Association of Russia (NOSTROY) president Anton Glushkov, RIA Novosti reported on June 17 last year that the number of labor migrants working in Russia’s construction sector has decreased to 500,000 people, which is only a quarter of figures of late 2020.

“According to official data, 800,000 migrants worked at the construction sites of Russia as of the end of 2020, while according to experts’ estimates – about 2 million,” Glushkov said.  

“Today there is no official statistics, because they come to us as tourists.  About 500,000 migrants now work at the construction sites, that is the quarter of the volume that was before,” Glushkov noted.

According to him, the regions today experience the most significant labor shortages, because Moscow, St Petersburg and a couple of other large cities siphon off existing flows of labor migrants due to high salaries.   

“Traditionally, labor migrants have been engaged in carrying out fit-out works.  Today, practically there are no Russian specialists to fill this niche, and as a result, the supply of finished apartments has decreased in the country,” NOSTROY top manager noted.  

“Developers are thinking of a product that would minimize the need for such specialists.  Therefore, the volume of white house finish housing has increased significantly,” Glushkov added.  

The term “white box” in construction and real estate signifies how completed and ready a building space is before tenant improvements (TIs). A white box finish signifies a tenant space before (and excluding): flooring (except concrete floors), plumbing and fixtures, interior walls, paint and wall coverings, electrical fixtures, furniture and any other tenant-specific equipment or office upgrades.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Construction of Russia Irek Fayzulin told RIA Novosti that they have not received any more applications from construction companies related to shortage of labor migrants.   

According to him, “the interagency working group has clearly worked on workers from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.”  

Besides, within the framework of the fight against sanctions imposed by unfriendly countries, the Ministry of Construction will seek new ways of importation of labor force, the minister noted.  

“May be Indian builders will appear,” he added.