“This is a historic high”: Prime Minister of Armenia on new jobs
Employment rate is on the rise in Armenia
Since the Velvet Revolution of 2018, more than 125,000 jobs have been created in Armenia. And this, according to the “revolutionary” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, is a “historic record”. According to the Prime Minister, During the same period, the payroll increased by 65%.
A day earlier, Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan also claimed another record of Armenia – this time with the number of registered employees reaching 673,224 in May 2022.
The Prime Minister spoke about the record number of paid jobs at a government meeting. He assured that only those jobs for which income tax was paid on wages were taken into account:
“In May 2022, compared to May 2021, we have 38,273 more jobs or 6% more. Compared to May 2019, there are 72,359 or 12% more, and compared to May 2018, by 125,235. In other words, more than 125,000 new jobs have been created in Armenia since May 2018.”
The unified social service of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has created a platform for job search. It’s called Get a Job. According to the ministry, there are more than 3,300 vacancies both in Yerevan and in the regions.
The Prime Minister also touched upon the general wage fund. The amount paid to all registered employees in May reached 160 billion 56 million drams [about $400 million].
According to Pashinyan, this is also a record figure, at least compared to May data of previous years, and a 65% increase compared with May 2018.
The prime minister also spoke about the total amount of income tax, which reached to 32 billion 741 million drams [about $77 million] in May. This figure is $9.3 million more than last year and $21.2 million more than May 2018.
Claims that the figures released by the government include amounts to be refunded are not true, Pashinyan said. According to the income tax refund law, 20,000 families receive compensation only for their mortgage loans, the prime minister stressed. And for each of them, the state annually returns at least one million drams [about $2,500].
Summarizing the results of May, Pashinyan expressed hope that the government will be able to maintain the pace of job growth:
“There are prerequisites for this. All that remains is to consistently implement our programs and improve their quality.”
Indeed, Armenia has never had such a large number of registered employees before, the figure is truly unprecedented, said economist Armen Ktoyan.
“Of course, there is a factor of a significant reduction in the “shadow”, at the same time a significant number of new economic entities are opening, new private entrepreneurs are being registered. Enterprises and companies registered by those who came to Armenia from Russia also have a certain role in this process”, the JAMnews expert said.
Registration of new jobs, the emergence of new taxpayers, according to the economist, creates an opportunity to ease the pressure on the pension system.
He says that the ratio between working and retired has been declining for many years in a row. In European countries, it is considered problematic if there is one pensioner for two or three employees. Meanwhile, in Armenia there is one pensioner for every worker. The problem of the stability of the pension system can be solved as a result of the emergence of new taxpayers, Ktoyan believes:
“In general, the increase in the number of registered employees is a positive indicator. But this does not mean that there are no problems in the economy or that there are no risky directions in it”.