• KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Doctors, Teachers Among Lowest-Paid Trained Professions in Uzbekistan

The Bdex.ru website, which publishes open-source statistics on salaries in various countries and cities, has provided data on average salaries in the Central Asian republics. According to their reporting, citizens of Kazakhstan earn the most at $775 per month. Wages in Uzbekistan ($346) and Kyrgyzstan ($360) are almost identical, whilst workers in Tajikistan are paid significantly less at $193. As in many fields, there is no data available for Turkmenistan. According to the Uzbek Statistics Agency, average monthly wages rose 17.2% last year. The highest wages are still found in the capital at $600, and the lowest in the Namangan Oblast ($267). Last year, the highest salaries were for those who work in finance and insurance ($1,077), with the lowest salaries going to healthcare ($242) and education workers ($252). At the same time, real per capita income in Uzbekistan grew by only 2.4% in 2023 - the lowest figure in at least five years. In neighboring Tajikistan, the average monthly nominal wage in 2023 increased by 14.3% on the previous year according to the Minister of Labor, Employment and Migration of the Republic of Tajikistan, Gulnora Hasanzoda. Agricultural and forestry workers earn the least in the country at $74, whilst the highest salaries go to miners at $333, followed by energy workers ($332), and construction workers ($275). According to official statistics, there are about two million migrant workers from Central Asia currently in Russia. Low wages and unemployment are increasingly forcing citizens of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to look for work abroad. As a rule, these are low-skilled, low-paid jobs that locals are reluctant to take. Due to the war in Ukraine and fear of being forced into the Russian military, migrants have recently started to look elsewhere. According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), Uzbekistan was among the leaders in sending seasonal migrant workers to the U.K. in 2022. "We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of seasonal workers coming to the U.K. from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan," the director of the Gangmasters and Labor Abuse Authority (GLAA), Darryl Dixon observed in the SIA report.

How Kazakhs see their personal and national well-being at the end of 2023

In December 2023, I was asked quite frequently whether, in my view, protests like the ones that took place across Kazakhstan in January 2022 were again possible. Based on previous sociological data, I answered that they were most likely not: Throughout 2021 – largely due to the pandemic – social sentiment had worsened, reaching its lowest levels in our 20 years of collecting observations. At that time, almost all indicators of social well-being had declined, including satisfaction with life and the approval of government institutions, while expectations of protests about socio-economic and political issues had increased. Since January 2022, however, many indicators began to improve, and by December 2023, they had “normalized”, roughly reaching 2019 levels. This is clearly seen in the indicator regarding the respondent’s satisfaction with life (see Chart 1 below). Over 2004-2023, this indicator saw three incidences of significant deterioration, namely in 2004, in 2008-2009 when the financial crisis struck, and in 2021-2022. Thus, by end-2023, the dangerous convergence of satisfaction/dissatisfaction indicators seems to have passed as social sentiment stabilized. Chart 1: In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your life? (2004-2023) In December 2023, the country's economic situation was also seen as having improved (see Chart 2 below). Some 24% percent of respondents said that the economy was in good shape (versus 7% in 2021); 57% saw things as average (vs. 41% in 2021), and only 13% called the economic situation “bad” (vs. 30% in 2021). Most respondents, therefore, saw the economy in 2023 in a neutral or positive light.   Chart 2: How would you assess the current economic situation in Kazakhstan? However, this does not mean that social sentiment has completely turned around and that it can be ignored. The challenging dynamics of “social optimism”, an important indicator, reflects the population’s subjective near-term outlook. Optimistic responses (i.e., “we will be better off”) rose in 2022 to 49% but decreased to 43% in 2023, representing the same level as during the crisis year of 2021 (see Chart 3 below). Chart 3: Do you think that in a year you (your family) will be better or worse off than now? (2004-2023) What drives this decline in Kazakhs’ social optimism? The answer, I think, is low levels of income against a backdrop of rising prices for food and essential goods and services, as well as higher utility tariffs. According to the survey, 58% of the population only has enough money to buy food and clothing and to pay for utilities, with no money left for savings. Almost another fifth of respondents (18.2%) can be classified as “low-income”, meaning their income is barely enough to live on (see below Chart 4). Chart 4: Assess your income versus consumption (%, December 2023) This is why the majority of the population, having carefully planned their small family budgets, painfully experiences unexpected changes to the status quo. Take health care, for example: Some 52.6% of respondents said that their health insurance payments were already too high and that they have...

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