Russia's unemployment rate increases to 7.7%

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Moscow, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - About 5.6 million Russians, or 7.7% of the nation's working population, were unemployed in May 2005, the Federal Statistics Service said in a report made public today.

This represents a 0.9% increase on the figure for the same period last year, but was down 2.2% on the figure for this April.

The number of officially registered jobless Russians reached 1.9 million in May 2005, up 18.1% on the same period last year. In the Chechen republic alone, as many as 322,700 people were registered with state employment agencies at the end of May this year.

Russia's working population numbered 73.6 million in May 2005, or about 51% of the total. Most working Russians are employed with large and medium-sized companies.

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