In the future, the regulation problem will be flexible employment forms, rather than working hours

Economy digitization and population ageing are serious factors that already began to change the labor market. What the share of the “standard” employment shall be, whether explosive unemployment should be expected in the age of the forth technological revolution was discussed at the panel discussion “Technological challenges to the labor market” that took place on January 16 within the 11th Gaidar Forum.

Alexander Murychev, Executive Vice President, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, stressed that impact of development of technologies on the labor market is strengthening. New technologies expel menial work, that is why continuous advanced training becomes an imperative of successful working life. In his speech, Alexander Murychev also mentioned the subject of 4-day working week. According to him, 85% members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) were negative about this initiative. “As long as the country does not have the sufficient performance level (we are 2 times behind average European indicators and 4 times behind highly developed economies), 4-day working week shall entail reduction of salary and production volumes. At this stage, we are not ready for such a passage,” the expert noted.

Tatiana Maleva, Director, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasts, RANEPA, reminded participants of the session of the history of technological revolutions of the past: “This is not the first technological revolution we experience. They were at least three: the first one was invention of the steam engine, the second one was invention of conveyor, and the third one was the age of computers. Every time the economy experienced explosive growth of labor productivity, but none of this revolutions ended with unemployment growth. it ended with another thing: the nature of work changed, proportions between heavy physical and non-physical labor changed and working time duration changed. All over the world, as a result of the technological revolution today the employment is rather growing than reducing.”

Vsevolod Vukolov, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection, told participants of the discussion about new challenges in employment regulation. in particular, he shared his point of view on the problem of technological challenge to the modern labor market: “Today, many services are rendered through platforms (such as taxi), and today we should think how to regulate new challenges in the labor market in a legislative way. An important step for solution of this problem was the law on electronic record of employment. We believe this solution will enable us to protect right of working people. It is also important to emphasize that, if a citizen wants to retain the record of employment in hard copy, he can do it.”

When answering the question, whether increase in labor productivity means drop in employment, Petr Zaselsky, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, noted: “Labor productivity is not just technologies, this is also human capital, investment level and infrastructure, that is why there is no linear dependence here. Furthermore, we have a low level of labor productivity; on the one hand, this is bad, but, on the other hand, this is an obvious growth potential. As for the contradictions between technologies and employment, national project “Labor Productivity and Employment Support” must harmonize these trends. To this end, relevant measures were developed to support enterprises that faced such a problem. For instance, modernization of work of employment centers and retraining system is planned. initially, the idea was to train people in new professions, but we saw in life that retraining to adjacent specialties or expansion of competencies inside one profession is more in demand.”

Natalya Pochinok, Rector, Russian State Social University, was moderator of the session.


The organizers of the 11th Gaidar Forum are the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, and the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia.

The title partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC. The strategic partners are Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group of companies, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis group of companies, MSD, AKIG group of companies, EF Education First. Partners are Prosveshchenie group of companies, EY, Huawei, RVC JSC, Russian Agricultural Bank JSC.

The title information partners of the Gaidar Forum are the Russia-24 TV channel, TASS, RBC, Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Invest Foresight magazine, Federal Press Agency. The main information partners are, Gazeta.Ru, Lenta.Ru,, Profile. International partners are RT, ThomsonReuters, Sputnik, EFE, Cision, Pan Pacific Agency. Information partners are Snob media project, AEI PRIME, RNS, Expert magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta,, Ekho Moskvy radio station, PRO Business TV channel, FINAM.RU information and analytical agency, Davydov.Index holding, Strategiya magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Gosudarstvennaya Sluzhba magazine, TV BRICS.