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Fathers and Sons Don’t Compete on Labour Market

Older and younger employees in Russia don’t compete for the same jobs.

Authors of the research:

Sergey Roshchin, Associate Professor, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Labour Market Studies.
Victor LyashokJunior Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory for Labour Market Studies.

Younger and older employees are not competitors on the labour market. The possible increase in the retirement age and, accordingly, increased employment among the elderly won’t add to youth unemployment and won’t limit the opportunities for young people’s employment. These are the findings made by Sergey Roshchin and Victor Lyashok in their study ‘Younger and older employees on the Russian labour market: substitutes or not?’*

Some serious competition evolves when there are professional and industry-specific concurrences that bring employees to the same jobs. There are no such concurrences for younger and the older employees; they choose different specializations, work in different industries, and differ in terms of qualification and professional strata.

What degrees say

The study revealed that younger and older people have chosen totally different specializations.

The share of economists and administrators is almost twice as big among younger people (employees aged 20-24). Older people (aged 60 to 64) are twice as likely to have technical jobs (employed in machine building, metallurgy, power industry, instrumentation, food and non-food product manufacturing companies).

Humanities, IT and service industries have a serious gap between young and ‘third age’ employees. There are more graduates in education, health care, construction and agriculture among  employees aged 60 to 64.

Table 1. Degrees among employed young and elderly people with higher or secondary vocational education, % of all employed in the cohort

Degree in

Aged 20–24

Aged 60–64

Economics and management

27.3

15.0

Technical specializations

14.7

26.3

Education and pedagogics

9.7

12.9

Humanities

9.4

3.8

Health care

7.7

14.0

Transportation

7.2

5.5

Information science and computer technology

6.2

0.6

Construction and architecture

4.3

7.3

Other

4.2

3.3

Agriculture and fishery

2.8

5.7

Service industry

2.7

0.4

Culture and arts

2.2

2.8

Natural sciences

0.9

1.2

Physics and math

0.7

1.2

Total

100

100

Source: Rosstat, Population survey on employment problems (PSEP), 2014.

‘Elderly’ industry

Young employees rush into fast-developing industries, and the elderly find themselves in less rapidly developing fields, including state financed industries, the researchers noticed.

Over one third (38%) of older specialists are employed in manufacturing and agriculture. The share of these fields of employment among young people is 1.5 times lower (22%).

The share of the elderly in education and health care is much higher. Young people are more often employed in the service sector, primarily wholesale and retail trade, as well as finance, hospitality and the restaurant business.

Table 2. Distribution of young and older employees by industry, % of all employed in the cohort

Industry

Aged 20–24

Aged 60–64

Agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishery

5

12

Mining operations

2

2

Manufacturing

13

20

Production and distribution of electric power, gas and water

2

4

Construction

8

6

Wholesale and retail trade; repair of cars, motorcycles, home and personal appliances

23

9

Hotels and restaurants

5

2

Transportation and communications

8

9

Financial operations

3

1

Real estate operations, rent and services

7

6

Public administration; military security; social insurance

8

5

Education

5

11

Health care and social services

5

9

Other utility, social and personal services

5

4

Total

100

100

Source: Rosstat, PSEP, 2014.

The youth saves strength

Employees choose industries depending on their qualifications. Young and old people have different qualifications, and their distribution in professional strata differs.

There are more qualified industry workers among older able-bodied people, and younger people more often work at jobs not using physical labour.

There are more specialists with high and medium-level qualification among the young. At the same time, the share of young people is double the share of the elderly in professions that require minimum qualification in service, public utilities, and trade (jobs that don’t require physical effort, such as salespeople, cooks, and bodyguards).

Table 3. Distribution of younger and older employees in professional groups, %

Professional group

Aged 20–24

Aged 60–64

Heads and representatives of governing bodies of all levels, including heads of organizations and enterprises

3

8

High-level qualification specialists

16

15

Medium-level qualification specialists

17

14

Employees responsible for preparing information, paperwork, accounting and service

4

3

Employees in the service industry, public utilities, trade, and related fields

22

11

Qualified workers in agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishery

3

5

Qualified workers in manufacturing enterprises, construction, transportation, communications, geology and exploration

14

16

Operators, instrumentation workers, manipulators of installations and machines

10

12

Unqualified workers

12

16

Source: Rosstat, PSEP, 2014.

Generations without a conflict

Over the last 15 years, Russia has experienced growing employment among the elderly, with decreasing employment and a stable level of unemployment among young people. These phenomena are not related, the researchers concluded.

The analysis of the results of thePopulation survey on employment problems (Rosstat, 1027 observations of regional employment and unemployment levels over 2000-2013) did not detect any competition on regional labour markets between young and older employees. Instead, each strata is trying to hold a specific market niche, and specialization in certain professional niches, on the contrary, opens up opportunities for interaction.

*The study was based on the data from Rosstat (Population survey on employment problems (PSEP), 2000–2014). Sample volume: 250,000–800,000 observations each year. Employed people aged 20-24 were considered as young employees, and those aged 60-64 were considered as older employees.

September 26, 2016