Balance of Labor Resources

Balance of Labor Resources

 

a component part of the balance sheet of the USSR national economy, characterizing the production of the labor force. The balance of labor resources is a system of indexes showing different aspects of the utilization of labor resources. It reflects the magnitude of the labor resources and the qualitative composition by sex, age, social groups, types of work, branches of the national economy, and occupations. The balance of labor resources shows the utilization of all labor resources, not only of those employed in the branches of the national economy. In the statistical accounting and planning of the USSR, the balance of national resources has been applied in practice since the 1950’s.

The balance sheet of labor resources is composed of consolidated balance, individual balances, and estimated balance; and the balance of the utilization of young workers, the balance of the kolkhoz labor force, and an estimated balance of additional requirements in workers and employees, including skilled workers and specialists.

The consolidated balance of labor resources is constructed according to the following model scheme: (1) labor resources, including the able-bodied population in the working age (men 16–59 years of age and women 16–54 years of age, excluding nonworking disabled persons of the first and second groups and nonworking persons of working age who receive preferential old age pensions) and persons working beyond the working age; (2) the distribution of labor resources showing the number of people employed in the national economy (in the economy as a whole and by social groups) and the number of them in industry, construction, and so on (by branches); persons studying while on leave from production; and persons engaged in housekeeping and on private farm plots (done separately for each of these two).

The balance of labor resources is computed in terms of physical persons as of a definite date (January 1 and July l), as well as of an average annual estimation (balance for a period under review) and only on the average per year (plan balance). The able-bodied population in the working ages accounts for more than 96 percent of the labor resources.

The consolidated balance makes it possible to ascertain the employment of the population and to find ways for improving the utilization of labor resources. The employment of the population in the USSR has been systematically rising. The proportion of persons working in state enterprises, institutions, and the kolkhoz public economy and studying while on leave from production to the total labor resources rose from 77 percent in 1958 to about 90 percent in 1968. The rest of the labor force worked in housekeeping and on private farm plots; women account for more than 90 percent of this part of the labor force. The development of the service sphere, which facilitates and reduces the work in the household, creates conditions for further enlisting of women into public production.

The consolidated balance of labor resources reflects the distribution of working people between the sphere of material production and nonproducing sphere, as well as between the branches within each of them. As a result of the growth of public labor productivity, the proportion of persons engaged in material production is declining, while the proportion of those working in the nonproducing branches is rising. This is illustrated by the data (for the USSR) shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Proportions in public labor productivity
 194019501968
Material production ........88.3%86.2%78.7%
Nonproducing branches ....11.7%13.8%21.3%

The balance of labor resources reflects the proportion between people employed in industry and construction on the one hand and those employed in agriculture on the other hand; this proportion characterizes the country’s industrial development. The rise in the share of the first two branches and the decline in the share of agriculture that has taken place has been characteristic of the general trend. Thus the proportion of people employed by USSR industry and construction to the number of people employed in the national economy as a whole rose from 23 percent in 1940 to 36 percent in 1968. In the same period the number of people employed in agriculture dropped from 54 to 29 percent (while agricultural output rose). In the nonproducing branches, the fastest growth has taken place in education, science, and public health.

The tables of the consolidated balance of labor resources characterize the composition of the labor force by social groups (workers and employees, kolkhoz farmers). This in turn makes it possible to analyze the whole population according to the same groups (employed people with the members of their families). The proportion of workers and employees to the total USSR population rose from 50.2 percent in 1939 to 77.7 percent in 1968.

Consolidated balance of labor resources are drawn up for the country as a whole, for Union republics, and for oblasts. Combined with other analytical materials, they make it possible to ascertain the nature of the utilization of labor resources and reserves or shortages of the labor force that exist in different localities.

The planned balance makes it possible to compare the size of the labor resources with the demand of the national economy for a labor force, the planned number of students on leave from production, and the planned number of the able-bodied population engaged in the household. The labor resources that would make up a relatively stable proportion of the population are computed through a forecast of the size of the population, considered by sex and age, with recognition given to possible changes in the birth and death rates.

The demand for the labor force is established on the basis of planned estimates of labor productivity and the volume of output in the material sphere, and also in conformity with the planned development of the nonproducing branches and the norms for number of workers in the institutions and organizations of these branches. This is done with a consideration of possible labor saving in all the branches of the national economy through the introduction of new machinery, the mechanization and automation of production processes, the mobilization of labor reserves at enterprises, and improved organization of labor. The size of the able-bodied population of working age that will study full-time is determined on the basis of the proposed development of the education and the training of skilled workers and specialists, as well as on the basis of the forecast of the age composition of the population. The estimates of the consolidated planned balance, subdivided territorially, permit the adoption of measures to forestall disproportions between the availability of labor resources and the demand for a labor force in locating new and reconstructing existing enterprises. Territorial balances are used to calculate the necessary scale and direction of population migration, that is, redistribution by territory. The data on the balance of labor resources are also used to choose the location for building new enterprises.

The consolidated planned balance is computed separately for cities and rural areas. This balance is used to determine the scale of the movement of rural residents to cities and to forecast the size of the urban and rural population. The consolidated balance of labor resources should not be confused with the balance of the labor force. The former shows the utilization of all the labor resources of the country (that is, together with the nonworking resources) and its individual regions; the latter indicates only the utilization of those employed. To show this utilization, the balance of the labor force is drawn up for individual enterprises, institutions, organizations, and branches of the national economy. It shows the demand and the sources of workers for the planned period. The balance of the labor force of enterprises and branches is used to substantiate the computations of the planned consolidated balance of labor resources.

Individual balances of labor resources (balance of kolkhoz labor force, balance of the utilization of young workers, estimates of additional requirements in the labor force) are drawn up to substantiate individual indexes of the consolidated balance and to make possible the stipulation, for the planned period, of all the measures necessary to supply the national economy with labor force (total and by specialities and skills) and of measures for the job placement of the population. All these balances supplement each other.

The balance of the kolkhoz labor force substantiates the size of the population employed in all branches of the kolkhoz economy. It is used to determine the number of kolkhoz farmers employed (in kolkhoz agriculture and other branches) on an annual average basis and for the highest seasonal months. It is also used to determine the sources for supplying the public economy of the kolkhozes with a labor force and the number of kolkhoz farmers who can be released from some regions of the country to be sent to the agricultural and nonagricultural branches of other regions. The size of the labor force planned to be released is substantiated by plans for the mechanization of kolkhoz production.

The balance of the utilization of the young labor force (balance estimate of youth) shows the number of school graduates and determines the number of young people directed to jobs in the different branches of the national economy and to further study.

The balance estimate of additional requirements in the labor force aims for the most rational provision of an increase in the number of workers and a replacement of workers and employees of enterprises, institutions, and organizations (republics, krais, oblasts), who drop out (through death, retirement, and other causes) during the planned period. The estimate shows the size of the additional requirements for and sources of the labor force: young people graduating from general education schools and not continuing studies; graduates of vocational technical schools and specialized secondary and higher educational institutions; persons demobilized from the army; kolkhoz farmers released from the public economy of the kolkhozes by the growth in labor productivity; women released from household work; and some pensioners. Provisions are made for enlisting all the local labor force resources, and computations of the need to move people from or to other regions are made where necessary.

The balance estimate of additional requirements in skilled workers and specialists is drawn up with the view to fully providing the national economy with workers of the necessary occupations and skills. The estimates of the additional requirements for skilled workers and specialists are a component part of the plan for the training and distribution of skilled cadres. The number of specialists in the national economy is constantly growing. In 1968, 16 million workers in the USSR were trained in vocational technical schools and training centers; they also raised their skills directly in production. The number of specialists with a higher or middle specialized secondary education per 1,000 workers and employees rose from 70 in 1940 to 140 in 1960, and to about 180 in 1968.

The balance of labor resources, while reflecting changes in output volume and in the structure of production by branches and its territorial distribution, in turn has a great impact on the formulation of plans for the development of the national economy. The balance of labor resources is linked with the plan for the distribution of productive forces because it takes into consideration the reserves of labor force in individual regions, in particular in small and medium cities. The plans for organized recruitment of workers regulate migration processes. The rational distribution of the labor force by regions of the country and by cities is promoted by the republic committees and their local agencies set up in 1966 for the utilization of labor resources. Their tasks include systematically studying the state of the labor resources; ascertaining labor force reserves; informing the population of job vacancies in enterprises, institutions, and organizations; adopting effective measures for the job placement of the population; and preparing proposals for the central planning and economic agencies, aiming at the fullest and most effective utilization of the labor resources.

REFERENCES

Piatiletnii plan narodnokhoziaistvennogo stroitel’stva SSSR, vol. 2, part 2, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1929. (Sections: “Trud,” pages 160–211, “Sotsial’no-kurturnoe stroitel’stvo,” pages 212–270, “Vosproiz-vodstvo kvalifitsirovannoi rabochei sily,” pages 243–257.)
Strumilin, S. G. Problemy ekonomiki truda. Moscow, 1957.
Sonin, M. Ia. Vosproizvodstvo rabochei sily v SSSR i balans truda. Moscow, 1959.
Vnerabochee vremia trudiashchikhsia. Under the general editorship of G. A. Prudenskii. Novosibirsk, 1961.
Kostakov, V. G., and P. P. Litviakov. Balans truda. Moscow, 1965.
Litviakov, P. P. “Ratsional’naia zaniatost’ naseleniia.” In Ekonomicheskoeplanirovanie v SSSR. Moscow, 1967. Chapter 6, pages 160–181.

V. G. KOSTAKOV

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