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Former U.S.S.R.: Wage Crisis And Unemployment Grow

Moscow, 30 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Wage arrears in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) totalled the equivalent of about $9 billion for the first eight months of this year, says Russia's General Confederation of Trade Unions

Wage arrears grew in almost all CIS members, but were significantly higher in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldovan, Russia and Ukraine.

During a weekend international trade union conference in Moscow, Union leaders also said unemployment has risen significantly almost everywhere in the former U.S.S.R., except in the Baltic states. If calculated under International Labor Organization (ILO) methods, unemployment in the CIS was more than eight million people, or six percent of the employment-age population.

CIS calculations put the unemployment rate at three percent. Representatives of the ILO, a United Nations agency, participated in the conference, along with delegates from the 12 CIS members and Latvia.