June 17, 2020 / 9:36 AM / 21 days ago

Russia's unemployment rate hit 6.1% in May: labour minister

FILE PHOTO: Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov attends a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow, Russia January 21, 2020. Sputnik/Ekaterina Shtukina/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s unemployment rate stood at 6.1% in May, Labour Minister Anton Kotyakov said on Wednesday, an increase from 5.8% recorded in April by the state statistics service.

Speaking at a conference run by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Kotyakov said the domestic labour market had made it through the peak of the coronavirus pandemic better than a number of other countries.

He said the domestic labour market was expected to begin its recovery in the fourth quarter.

Russia has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with more than 550,000 infections.

Moscow, the area of Russia worst affected by the outbreak, last week began lifting a lockdown that had been in place for more than two months.

The unemployment rate announced by Kotyakov is slightly lower than the 6.2% analysts polled by Reuters had expected for May.

Rosstat, the state statistics service, is expected to release its unemployment data for May on Friday.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Jan Harvey

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