Unemployment Down to 5.4 % As New Jobs and Training Are Provided

Feb 03. MFA

Unemployment Down to 5.4 % As New Jobs and Training Are ProvidedAn enlarged board meeting of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection took place in Astana on February 1 under the chairmanship of First Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbayev. The meeting tallied the results of measures taken to improve people’s welfare last year, and outlined major tasks for the year 2012 with due attention to Pesident Nazarbayev’s address to the people of Kazakhstan on January 27.

The meeting addressed a wide range of various social and economic problems, including providing employment and improving the livelihoods of people in Kazakhstan.

“Rapid economic growth and active social policy pursued over the last few years have made it possible to significantly improve the living standards in Kazakhstan,” Minister of Labour and Social Prorection Gulshara Abdykhalikova stressed in her speech.

According to preliminary data by the country’s Agency for Statistics, the unemployment level has declined from 5.8 percent in 2010 to 5.4 percent last December. During the same period the number of employed people increased up to 8,466,000 million.

On the whole, 235,000 people were provided with jobs in Kazakhstan last year, while 274,800 new jobs were created with 128,200 of them in rural areas.

In 2011, a wide range of measures to develop social partnership were taken. The government continued its work to improve labour legislation and expand collective bargaining relationship so as to make the system cover more enterprises. Collective bargaining agreements embraced 53,800 enterprises as of January 1, 2012.

In addition, Kazakhstan continues taking steps to increase well-being of its people. Since July 1, 2011, the salaries of public sector employees have been raised by 30 percent, which affected more than 1.3 million people. The average salary of employees working for the government has increased from 52,000 tenge to 61,500 tenge.

The government has also raised pensions by 30 percent. Today, the average salary in Kazakhstan is around 36,000. The average size of state social benefits and allowances has grown by 9 percent.

According to Kazakhstan’s Agency for Statistics, in the third quarter of 2011, the number of people living for less than a minimum wage accounted for 5 percent, having reduced by 1.9 percent as compared to the corresponding period of 2010.

In 2011, targeted social assistance was rendered to 139,300 people with income below poverty level. Over the nine months of the year 2011, 125,000 families were provided with housing assistance for an overall amount of 2 billion tenge.

To implement the instructions from President Nazarbayev, a national programme “Employment-2020” has been developed aiming to increase people’s income through the assistance in productive employment. More than 58,000 people agreed to participate in the programme, having signed social contracts.

In line with the programme’s first dimension, 69,200 people have been retrained and received vocational education. More than 4,600 people completed courses in fundamentals of entrepreneurship; other 1,435 participants of the programme took microcredit loans. The average amount of microcredit loan amounted to 1,862 tenge.

The third dimension of the programme stipulated the construction of 212 houses and 13 apartment houses.

Launched in 2011, “Employment-2020” has been successfully implemented further strengthening social support rendered by the government to the people of Kazakhstan.

“Following the instruction of President Nazarbayev, we will be starting an active phase of the programme this year,” Yerbol Orynbayev concluded, adjourning the meeting.