This text is translated into Russian by google automatic human level neural machine.
EastRussia is not responsible for any mistakes in the translated text. Sorry for the inconvinience.
Please refer to the text in Russian as a source.

Work is not for future use

How to improve labor productivity in the Far East

Work is not for future use
Photo by:
Well working is not the one who works more, and not even the one who is more qualified - and the one who applies his skills in the right place at the right time. So you can formulate the basic postulate of the approach to increasing labor productivity. Russia lags behind this indicator from Europe and the United States, the Far East - from the average Russian values. At the same time, the country faces the task of dramatically increasing its productivity in order to ensure a scientific and technological breakthrough - otherwise transit for the "bright future" for all of us may not take place. The question is how to organize this right place and time here and now?

The topic of labor productivity in the past two years is in the focus of attention of the Russian leadership. In 2017, the priority program "Improving labor productivity and supporting employment" was approved. For its implementation, the Federal Center for Labor Productivity has been set up whose goal is "to launch and implement programs to increase labor productivity and support employment in 15 entities of the Russian Federation at 150 enterprises in 2018 with the expansion of 85 entities of the Russian Federation and 850 enterprises to 2025." 

The result of the program in each constituent entity of the Russian Federation should be the increase in labor productivity at enterprises participating in the regional program by at least 5% (based on the results of the first year of participation in the program) and 10% (the second year of participation). Within the framework of regional programs, a set of measures should be developed and implemented to increase labor productivity at no less than 850 enterprises, including audit of financial and economic activities of enterprises to find reserves for increasing labor productivity, improving the efficiency of production systems; increase in production and innovation activity; development of mechanisms for technology transfer; development of digitalization. As part of the program, the IT platform for managerial and technological competence should be launched in 2020. The amount of funding for the program is about 90 billion rubles.

In addition, in the summer of this year, the government of the Russian Federation discussed a new national project "Increasing labor productivity and supporting employment", which implies conducting training events for increasing labor productivity for 2019 thousand managers of large Russian companies over five years (from 2024 to 80) by consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young and KPMG (total project cost - 156 billion rubles).

The Agency for Strategic Initiatives also has a direction devoted to labor productivity: "Staffing for industrial growth", aimed at providing Russian industry with workers and engineers of a new generation, the core of which is "Worldskills Russia" - a system for monitoring the quality of training through participation in national and international championships professional skills.

According to the forecast of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Russia is comparable in terms of labor productivity (in terms of GDP per employee in US dollars) with countries such as Argentina, Latvia and Kazakhstan, yielding to the leader (Luxembourg) 4 times, the USA - 2,5 times and Germany - almost twice. Realizing the difference between the economy of Russia and Luxembourg, we still have to admit that the scientific and technological breakthrough declared by the country's leadership and reaching a new qualitative level of the Russian economy will not be able to provide such productivity.


Labor productivity is a complex indicator that includes many components, from the qualifications of workers and technologies to the climatic conditions of the place of production. At the same time, productivity is inversely proportional to the length of working time: according to the same ILO, the hardest working Germans in Europe are the most not working, but the Greeks and Russians. In many cases, the effectiveness does not depend on the qualification or technology, but on which labor division the employee is built into (the lecturer explains it in detail in his lectures by Pyotr Schedrovitsky): a taxi driver in London receives the same amount of times more often than his job colleague in Tehran. Scientists identify internal factors of productivity (qualification of personnel and managers, technological equipment, labor organization, incentives, etc.), internal (in relation to the enterprise, performance, labor market conditions, cooperation with other enterprises , demand for enterprise products and others). The key to performance may be any of these factors, depending on the specific circumstances.

It can not be said that the top managers of the Russian Empire / USSR / Russian Federation made no effort to increase this indicator. Since the time of Ivan III, the Russian state has actively participated in the international division of labor, adopting advanced technologies, and with the reforms of Peter I the country has become involved in catching up industrialization, which continues cyclically until now. During this time various methods of increasing productivity were used: purchase and copying of foreign technologies, development of own engineering schools, improvement of labor organization, economic incentives and others.

We venture to suggest that for Primorsky Krai the main impact on labor productivity from internal factors is provided by low qualification of personnel (both managerial and executive) and weak technological equipment of enterprises. Out of the external models, the 1990-2000 model of integration with the ATR, as well as a small volume of the internal market, does not allow to increase labor productivity due to the depth of its separation. 

This dependence, on which, in describing the production of pins, in 1776, Adam Smith pointed out, can be considered the first principle of organizing high-efficiency production. The second principle is the increase of value added, and, as a consequence, the productivity of labor, as we move from the initial links of the production chain (the extraction of raw materials) to the final (production of consumer goods). The third principle is the consideration of factors of spatial distribution of production in relation to key resources: sources of raw materials, elements of transport and energy infrastructure, skilled labor. The production system in this optics is a projection of the division of labor system on the geographical landscape. 

This theme is explored by economic geography, which for the last 100 years (by the authors of A.Tunen to the Nobel laureate P. Krugman) has developed a number of approaches to determining what production makes sense to build on a particular territory. Ignoring this principle leads to inefficient costs for the construction and maintenance of unsuccessfully located enterprises, which sooner or later fall into decay.

From the point of view of these three principles, the economy of the USSR was arranged in a disharmonious way: the leadership of the country tried to ensure the depth of the division of labor and the full production cycle (including through cooperation with Eastern European countries), but in advanced industries, such as automotive and electronics, until the end To make it was not possible. With regard to the spatial location of enterprises, then from the 30-ies of the last century it was not based on the principles of economic expediency, but in an orientation to reduce the potential vulnerability of industries and infrastructures in a military conflict. It is not difficult to see that during the development of the Far Eastern region the above mentioned principles created a deadlock situation: it was geographically inexpedient to create an autochthonous full cycle production, and the inclusion of raw materials in technological redistribution of neighboring countries did not yield the desired profitability. By the 1980-m years the economy of the region was mainly closed to the USSR, in 1990-ies during the destruction of production cooperation, it underwent massive de-industrialization, after which the remnants of extractive industries, already in full compliance with the principle No.3, were integrated into the economy of Japan, Korea and China (of course, on terms of counterparties) with scrap metal, trepan and round wood. In many ways, low labor productivity in the Far East is due to these circumstances.


In the development strategy of the Far East 2009, it was noted that "labor productivity per one employed in the economy of the Far East and the Baikal region is 4 times lower than in Japan, 6 times lower than in the US, 2,5 times lower than in South Korea, and 5 times lower than in Australia. " In the Strategy for Social and Economic Development of the Primorsky Territory up to 2030, it was noted that the growth rate of the GRP of the region in 2000-2014 was 90% due to increased productivity in the region. Prospective branches of the region, in which labor productivity can be significantly increased, are agro-industry, extraction and processing of seafood, transport, shipbuilding, forestry and mining.

According to the Strategy of the development of the region, in 2015 year labor productivity per employed person in the regional crop and livestock production was 0,4 million rubles. (one of the lowest indicators in the Far East), by 2030 it is expected to raise to 1 million rubles. per person. The increase in labor productivity in the production of agricultural products should be (in relation to 2016 year) 150%. Productivity in the production of food products (except fish) will grow to 3,5 million rubles. per person (100% to 2016 year).

On the seaside shipbuilding facilities, labor productivity in 3-4 times lower than the leading European and 7 times lower than the best Korean shipbuilders. It is prescribed to 2025 year to bring it to the level of European shipyards, to 2030 year - at the level of Korean. In the transport sector, labor productivity should grow to 5 million rubles. per person. In the timber industry and extraction of minerals - by 120%, in the sphere of extraction and processing of seafood - by 200% compared to 2016 year. In general, in the province should be achieved the average annual growth rate of labor productivity in 5%. The number of new high-performance jobs (excluding the budget sphere) should be 3 thousand people. annually up to 2020 year, 4 thousand people. - in 2021-25 years, and 5 thousand people from 2026 to 2030.

To achieve these indicators, it is proposed to develop and launch a regional program to increase labor productivity and support employment, to conduct self-examination of enterprises with identifying the reserves of labor productivity growth, to involve scientific and consulting organizations in solving the problem, to create a retraining program for workers released from enterprises participating in the productivity improvement program labor, to pursue an active policy in the labor market (increase of accessibility of consultations, vocational guidance programs), improve the quality of attracted foreign labor migrants, reduce the scale of unregistered entrepreneurship and informal employment. It is also proposed to join the region to the priority program "Improvement of labor productivity and employment" mentioned above, for which the regional center of competence in this area should be created to 2020.


The development of specific industries and industries within the framework of investment projects is considered in other parts of the region's strategy, but the list of these projects is generally known: pig complexes, barns and fodder in the agro industry; shipyard "Star" in shipbuilding; VNKhK and the plant of mineral fertilizers in petrochemistry; modernization of the transport corridor "Primorye-1" (the future of ITC "Primorye-2" is not yet predictable); development of port and transport-logistic capacities of the south of Primorye; "Fish cluster" in Vladivostok. All projects are aimed at lengthening the production chains located in the territory of the region, by completing the redistribution of raw materials or creating a full production cycle. 

The main barrier that will impede the successful implementation of these projects is the above-mentioned integration of the regional economy into the markets of the Asia-Pacific region: the Chinese are actively buying roundwood, soybeans and pollock in Primorye, but in principle they do not take sawn timber, meat and milk. It seems problematic to seize at least part of the market of civil ship repair from Koreans and Chinese. Perhaps, therefore, Rosneft's two largest projects designed for a full production cycle (VNKh and Zvezda) are oriented to the domestic market, the future of agrarian projects and fish processing largely depends on the possibility of product access to the countries of East Asia. 

Thus, one of the key potential resources for the development of the local economy - proximity to the APR - remains unused. With regard to transport and logistics, in this area, the main constraint is the lack of infrastructure. In general, given the key specialization of the South of the Far East as a transit region, the fact that the concept of the transport and logistics complex of the region developed and approved by the Government of the Russian Federation can not be surprising.

"Jump" through the limitations of geography can be, developing in the province of the industry so-called 4 industrial revolution - information technology, robotics, biotechnology and the production of new materials, for which cooperation with the APR is not the only possible way to success, and for which there is still not fully occupied market niches. But as a breakthrough these directions in the strategy are not considered.

Organizational steps to increase productivity, proposed in the strategy, can be regarded as a reasonable addition to the program of the "new industrialization" of the province. Returning to internal factors of productivity, of course, one should positively assess the prospect of the entry of maritime enterprises in the federal program to increase labor productivity. Also worth paying attention to such a planned unit, as the Competence Center in the field of labor productivity. Such a center could conduct an analysis of the productivity of maritime enterprises (currently, no one is systematically engaged in this), for which unified methodological approaches and an evaluation platform, for example, the skill level of the staff, should be developed. In addition, such a center should engage in benchmarking - to explore how a business evaluates and improves its performance in other regions and countries. He will be able to give correct measurements of the state of the local economy, since federal statistics does not track a whole range of regional parameters - as a result, the regional and municipal administrations often do not have the information necessary to make managerial decisions. Subsequently, the Competence Center can focus on developing recommendations for enterprises, as well as on cooperation with other regions and other "think tanks" in this area.
September 22: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics