Social Challenges of the Digital Economy: Russia in a Global Context

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-9-14-24
E. Sadovaya (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Received 05.04.2021.

Acknowledgements. The article was prepared within the project “Post-crisis world order: challenges and technologies, competition and cooperation” supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation program for research projects in priority areas of scientific and technological development (Agreement 075-15-2020-783).

Abstract. The subject of the research is the challenges of the digital economy for the employment sector in Russia. The need to reduce costs in the face of a deteriorating situation in the global economy is a factor in accelerating the digital transformation of employment in the country. The transformation is carried out through the automation of the main business processes, as well as through the development of platform employment formats. Specific features of the process of digital transformation of employment form the shape of the development of the Russian labor market in the post- Soviet period. Its main factor was the country’s entry into the global system of division of labor, which led to the formation of the modern structure of employment. The economy of Russia, recognized as raw material, turned out to be “commercial” in terms of employment, since it was this industry that created the bulk of jobs during that period. The commerce sector, which had high growth potential in the early 1990s in Russia, provided jobs for all those labor resources that were released from the industry. However, at the moment this source has been exhausted. Digitalization threatens the most labor-intensive sectors of the Russian economy. Commerce turns out to be the first industry to undergo automation and digitalization of jobs. At the same time, the most massive professions (accountants, bank employees, HR specialists, salesmen, cashiers, couriers, security guards, secretaries, packers, call center workers, drivers) are under the threat of “disappearance”, while new ones in demand by the market are more likely “unique” and they are mostly associated with robotization, digitalization and biotechnology. The unmet demand for these professions is a reflection of the complexities of training highly qualified interdisciplinary specialists and not a physical shortage of labor resources, and this is a serious challenge for the vocational education system. The study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the processes taking place in the social and labor sphere in Russia, to create a conceptual basis for the development of a socio-economic policy of the state that adequately responds to the challenges of the digitalization of the economy. 

Keywords: digital economy, employment, platform employment, the Russian labor market, labor relations, structural transformations of the labor market


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For citation:
Sadovaya E. Social Challenges of the Digital Economy: Russia in a Global Context . World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 9, pp. 14-24.

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