In the latest blow for employment in the crisis, Russian Post announced on Monday it would be firing at least 33,000 people, or 8 per cent of its workforce, in 2010.
Russian Post, or PochtaRossii, said on its web site that the job cuts were planned earlier this year in an effort to streamline the state-owned organisation and reduce administrative staff. In the first nine months of 2009, structural subdivisions in the management were cut by almost half, and staff in those subdivisions reduced by 27.8 per cent.
Russian Post currently employs 415,000 workers, a 3 per cent cut from the 423,000 people it employed in January. The planned overhaul is part of a large-scale plan aimed at cutting costs and improving financial performance.
Vladimir Osakovsky, economist at Unicredit Securities, said the job losses had come as part of a modernization programme, and were not a direct result of the crisis.
"Of course it's possible that the economic situation triggered these layoffs now, but it was bound to happen anyway," Osakovsky said.
However, laid-off employees may have a hard time finding a new job.
According to Natalya Pavlova, a senior account manager at employment firm Coleman Services, the job market has perked up considerably since the beginning of this year. However, from the jobseeker's point of view, she says, it is still a very severe world out there.
"If an employer publishes a vacancy in any open source, the company will receive at least 100 resumes within the first couple of days," she said. "The job market is saturated with CVs of good but unemployed professionals who would severely compete in their search for a job."