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Two-Track Economy Leaves Russia With 31% Unemployment on Fringes

  • Jobless numbers in remote regions contrast with 1.8% in Moscow
  • Government is seeking ways to promote labor mobility in Russia

The labor market has been the lone bright spot for Russia as its economy sank into recession -- depending on where you look.

Probing beyond the national rate of 5.5 percent, about half the euro area’s, reveals regions falling behind across the world’s biggest nation by territory. While October unemployment was near 2 percent in Moscow and St. Petersburg, it was almost 31 percent in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia. The rate was more than double the headline figure in areas as varied as the predominantly Buddhist republic of Kalmykia on the Caspian shore and the Zabaikalye region that borders China and Mongolia.