YEREVAN — The government reported on Monday a nearly 50 percent surge in the number of officially registered workers in Armenia’s information technology sector, which appears to reflect a recent influx of skilled migrants from Russia.
Government data revealed by Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan shows that local software development firms employed 20,000 people as of the end of April, up from about 13,500 in the year-earlier period.
In a Facebook post, Kerobyan said that the number of tech jobs registered with tax authorities rose by 2,300 in April alone. He did not comment on the reasons for the sharp increase.
The IT industry dominated by software developers has long been the most dynamic sector of the Armenian economy, having grown at double-digit annual rates since the early 2000s. A list of the country’s 1,000 largest corporate taxpayers released by the State Revenue Committee in January included 36 tech firms.
Thousands of mostly young Russians relocated to Armenia following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. Many of them are computer programmers and other IT professionals.
Already on March 1, Kerobyan announced that some Russian tech companies are moving operations to Armenia to evade Western sanctions imposed on Moscow. The sanctions restricted their access to high technology and complicated their financial transactions abroad.
The precise number of such firms that have partly or fully relocated their personnel to the South Caucasus country is not yet known.
According to the Armenian State Registry of Legal Entities, 268 Russian citizens registered firms while 938 others received the official status of an “individual entrepreneur” from February 24 through March 22. The vast majority of them are involved in IT, the head of the agency, Tatev Mkrtchian, told the Armenpress news agency.
In a related development, about 27,000 Russians and other foreigners opened Armenian bank accounts during the same period.