Courtesy Reuters

The Management of Soviet Manpower

In a number of countries (the United States, Britain, France and the Federal Republic of Germany to mention a few), it has recently been claimed in newspaper and magazine articles that unemployment has appeared in the Soviet Union. The authors frequently refer to the works of Soviet economists (my own included) in which serious problems are raised concerning our rational utilization of manpower.

Naturally, there are many intricate as well as unresolved problems in the Soviet economy. We write about them a good deal and attempt to solve them while carrying out the economic reform. Nevertheless, we have no problem of unemployment. We solved it long ago-almost forty years back-during the years of the first five-year plan. At that time there was large-scale construction of new enterprises in various branches of the national economy and the collectivization of agriculture was in the main completed. Ever since, the number of factory and office workers in all branches of the economy has been increasing from year to year.


(In millions)

1913 1932 1940 1950 1960 1966 1967 1970 (plan)

12.9 24.2 33.9 40.4 62.0 79.7 82.3 91-92

The fact that the Soviet national economy is planned gives ample opportunity to anticipate requirements and undertake the training of workers in those trades which will be needed in the future. The planned economy and the development of the country's productive forces ensure full employment for all able-bodied people either in production or in the services. As technical progress permits more goods and services to be provided by fewer people, working hours are reduced and free time is increased, thus creating still greater opportunities for developing the intellectual potential of wide sections of the working people.

Thus, although unemployment disappeared rapidly in the U.S.S.R., an intricate problem, or set of problems, remains: how to supply the developing national economy and all its branches, as well as the enormous undeveloped districts of the country, with workers. What are the sources for replenishing the working class and the intelligentsia? How should the rational utilization of manpower be

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