Unemployment nearly 50% in Russia's Caucasus regions: report

14th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Parts of Russia's turbulent Caucasus region have the country's highest unemployment rate, and impoverished Ingushetiya tops the list with 48.8 percent, a report said Monday.

Russia's overall unemployment rate was 7.2 percent at the beginning of the year, a total of 5.4 million people, the Kremlin said on its website Monday. A year ago the figure was just 6.2 million, the statement said.

The two regions most plagued by unemployment are Ingushetiya and Chechnya, neighboring regions of the Russian Caucasus area, with 48.8 percent and 43.3 percent jobless respectively, RIA Novosti agency said quoting a report distributed at a Kremlin meeting on the issue.

Unemployment is considered by observers as one of key problems in the North Caucasus, along with corruption and poverty, which contributes to the continuing deadly insurgency in the area.

The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s but the insurgency has now become more Islamist in tone and has spread to neighbouring regions such as Ingushetia and Dagestan.

© 2011 AFP

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