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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Specialists Job Fair Has Many Seekers, Few Hires

While even the most exciting of the 72 pavilions at VDNKh stood practically empty one recent afternoon, one of them, with the yawning title of "trade unions", attracted a line.

The visitors were not idle tourists looking for the latest innovations on display at the exhibition hall. They came with a purpose- to find a job.

In an attempt to help unemployed Muscovites, the city's Labor & Employment Department has organized regular job vacancy fairs. The fairs are usually held every Thursday at 15 Rozhdestvensky Bulvar, but the one this Saturday was special. For the third time this year, the department offered a "specialist's day", designed not only to offer job opportunities for unemployed, but to help highly qualified specialists upgrade their employment.

Although the unemployment rate in Moscow has stabilized at 41, 000 registered unemployed, the job market remains out of sync with people's expectations, city officials said.

The offers that are delivered into the department's job database are often unattractive. According to the department's statistics, 94 percent of all the vacancy requests are for manual labor with low salaries. Only 6 percent call for specialists, and these go quickly, Grinberg said, creating the need for a specialist's day.

"I came here with my daughter to try and find a job that would pay so I could survive normally", said a middle-aged woman who declined to give her name. "I am a specialist in communications and computers and earn 8, 500 rubles a month", she said angrily. Her salary expectations were "not less than 25, 000 rubles".

Nikolai Kachnov, who is responsible for the job fairs, acknowledged the problem. "Unfortunately, the typical offer is under 20, 000 rubles, and people nowadays want no less than 30, 000", he said.

According to the department's officials, about 5 percent of the fair's visitors actually find jobs. Since September 1992, when the first such fair was held, 1, 500 people were assisted in finding jobs, Grinberg said.

The numbers could be improved if the department received as many job offers as it should. Less than 50 percent of municipal enterprises report their vacencies, said Andrei Grinberg, spokesman for the Labor Department.

State and private enterprise representatives are invited to attend the fairs and interview applicants, but the majority of firms are state owned.

Grinberg evaluates the program as "definitely useful".

"Even if we can help a few people, it is very good", he said. "Besides, these fairs help to lessen the psychological stress. People feel that we are concerned and do our best to solve the problems".