This paper aims to analyze recent change of labor migration in Russia in terms of the pull-push model and dual labor market theory. And we look at the perception of Russians to the labor migrants and relating issues and problems caused by them, and raise need of a new approach to the policies of labor migration.
Russia, a second largest country in terms of the number of labor immigrants following to the United States, is experiencing population shrinking, particularly in terms of economically active population, and the influx of labor migrants is inevitable due to the reduction of population, And Russia is constantly requiring low-wage unskilled labors who are willing to work in the second labor market with poor wages and insecure working conditions. On the other hand, unemployed people in the post-Soviet countries, as the main sources of labor migrants, come to Russia to find jobs based on individual rational choice for better wages and for livelihoods of families.
The number of labor migrants in Russia from the post-Soviet countries increased by the result of mutual interests, but the influx of labor migrants in Russia caused various social problems and many Russians have a negative perception on the labor migrants. Russia’s repressive immigration policy, including deportation and enforcement penalties, which is focused on the regulation by means of quota system and working permission exacerbates the problems caused by massive illegal labor migrants.
Therefore, it is required to pursuit a new approach of migration policy for the change of recognition that labor migrants can play a positive role in the Russian communities as the potential resources for long-term economic growth. In other words, Russia should consider the labor migration as a method for long-term sustainable socio-economic development, as well as a means of solving the problem of population decline. It is also the time to develop sophisticated policy models that can contribute to the cooperation and integration with these CIS countries and to see the migration issues in perspective of foreign policy towards CIS countries according to the change of external environment, such as the launch of the Eurasian Economic Union.