According to official statistics in Russia, there have been decreases in the labor market tightness and unemployment, which have reached the lowest values ever recorded. By studying the literature and analyzing the statistics authors shows that behind the favorable dynamics there are hidden problems of the employment of young professionals in the Russian labor market. Calculations conducted by the authors on the initial data of the Rosstat Labor Force Survey reveal a high level of unemployment among young professionals: 30.2% among university graduates, 33.7% among graduates of vocational educational institutions in 2017. Analysis of indicators of labor force participation and unemployment among young professionals with higher and vocational education shows that most of the problems are related to the lack of labor market experience. An analysis of the unemployment rate among young professionals over the period 2012–2017 reveals that it experiences significant fluctuations depending on the economic situation in the country.
• Unemployment and labor market tightness in Russia have reached the lowest values ever recorded.
• Regional- and population-level analysis demonstrates that employment problems are still relevant in Russia.
• The unemployment rate among young professionals is much higher than the unemployment rate among the entire population.
• According to the authors’ calculations, the unemployment rate among graduates of higher and vocational educational institutions was more than 30 percent in 2017.
• The economic changes in the country have a substantial impact on the unemployment rate of young professionals.
• Causes of problems of young professionals’ employment include low quality of education, unrealistic expectations of graduates, etc.
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