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19 Mai. 2023

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Job search: how the labour market in Ukraine has changed during the war and what will happen afterwards

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Job search: how the labour market in Ukraine has changed during the war and what will happen afterwards

The Ukrainian labour market has been heavily affected by the war. Find out more about the most popular vacancies and the nuances of job search during the war

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The war significantly affected the labor market in Ukraine. Many enterprises were destroyed or stopped working. Employees also left for other regions of Ukraine or abroad. Mobilization increased the shortage of highly qualified personnel. Occupation, constant shelling, blockade of the sea, lack of light - all this affects the work of business.


The labor market in Ukraine was significantly transformed during the war and continues to do so.


How did 2022 affect the Ukrainian labor market?


According to the State Employment Service, on the eve of the Russian invasion, the official level of unemployment in Ukraine was almost 10%, for comparison in the EU countries this figure is 7% on average. The largest number of Ukrainians worked in trade, agriculture, industry, education and health care systems.


In the first months of the war, Ukrainians lost almost a third of their jobs. However, at the end of 2022, the situation improved significantly: experts of the International Labor Organization estimated the level of unemployment in Ukraine at 15.5%.

The growth is connected with the resumption of work of many businesses, as well as the de-occupation of certain territories of Ukraine and the reduction of the intensity of hostilities in some regions of the country.


According to the European Business Association (EBA), which unites mainly large and medium-sized companies and enterprises with foreign investments, at the beginning of May 2023, 68% of the companies included in the association were fully operational. That is, it is still too early to talk about the restoration of business operations at the pre-war level.


In addition to forced layoffs, the work of Ukrainian enterprises was significantly affected by mobilization. According to statistics, mobilization affected 83% of companies in Ukraine. Moreover, half of the companies mobilized every tenth employee, almost 40% of those mobilized were highly qualified employees: engineers, IT specialists, electricians, mechanics, machinists, drivers.


Almost a quarter of Ukrainians are below the poverty line


One of the most common methods of business adaptation to the conditions of the war was freezing or reducing salaries, as well as unpaid vacations - all these factors indicate hidden unemployment in the state.


Reduced income due to job loss, as well as significant inflation: food, fuel and services have risen in price in Ukraine (some by almost 50%), causing the poverty rate to rise.


In 2022, 24.2% of Ukrainians (almost 7.1 million people) will be below the poverty line.


What industries were most affected by the war?


During the war, the construction and repair market suffered quite a lot. There is currently almost no work for numerous teams of craftsmen. The main orders are the maintenance and support of what was built before the war and the elimination of critical accidents and damage. People do not see the point of investing money in construction or repair, because they are afraid of the arrival of enemy missiles.


Also, as of April 1, 2023, 20% of the registered unemployed were previously employed in trade, 16% in processing industry, 15% in agriculture, and 13% in public administration.


Specialists who worked in the field of services and entertainment before the war were severely affected. There is simply no work for them during the war.


What professions are currently in the highest demand among employers?


According to the State Employment Service, today the greatest demand among employers is observed for qualified workers in labor professions. Companies are also looking for locksmiths, electricians, drivers, tractor drivers, salespeople, cooks, janitors, cleaners, accountants, educators, nurses, etc.


The competition is quite high. In total, 4 people apply for one vacancy in the system of the State Employment Service, in the field of trade - 8 job seekers per place. The leader is the field of finance and insurance - there 24 specialists are competing for one vacancy.


The largest number of vacancies is registered in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Khmelnytskyi, Kyiv and Odesa regions.

According to the largest online job exchange Work.ua, the labor market in April 2023 practically returned to the indicators of 2021. Competition among job seekers has significantly decreased and practically reached the pre-war level.


The most vacancies are observed in the following sectors: security/security, hotel and restaurant business/tourism, service, construction, retail trade, finance, work specialties, logistics and warehouses, transport, beauty and sports.

The competition for positions with the possibility of remote work is the highest.


Supply and demand differ significantly


On the one hand, a large part of Ukrainians went abroad, several million people became internally displaced persons. However, almost 50% of IDPs have still not been able to find a job. This is due to a sharp discrepancy between the skills of workers and the requirements of employers. For example, a therapist will not be able to replace a surgeon, but they both belong to doctors.




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Changes in the IT-sector


The rate of development of the industry most integrated into the global economy is gradually decreasing. In the first quarter of 2023, the export of IT-services from Ukraine decreased by 16% compared to the same period in 2022. However, experts claim that an important factor in this decline is the excessively high rate of development of the industry in previous years.

Leading companies in the IT-sector are currently downsizing. In total, almost 200,000 workers are at risk of being laid off worldwide, but many companies are cutting staff due to the previous surplus created during the covid.


In the Ukrainian IT-market, there is a significant decrease in the number of vacancies and, accordingly, a decrease in the number of candidates. If before the beginning of the full-scale invasion, one specialist could choose from a dozen offers, today several specialists apply for one vacancy.


During the war, hundreds of companies that had development centers in Ukraine opened new offices abroad, and there are now hiring people not only from Ukraine, but from all over the world.


The ability to reserve workers from mobilization for professional tasks and the right to short-term travel abroad to participate in conferences, conduct negotiations and sign contracts allow the sector to work more stably.


Many people study at various courses and master the professions of the IT-sector. This allows us to state that the industry is ready for rapid development and a return to pre-war indicators.


What will 2023 bring to the labor market?


During 2022, the business actively adapted to new working conditions. The year 2023 will certainly be more difficult for companies, especially in the economic sense, because no one knows when the stabilization stage will come.

When in April 2023 the Russian army significantly reduced its shelling of Ukraine's critical infrastructure, for the first time since October 2022, many businesses assessed the prospects for work more optimistically.


Businesses in the trade sector expect maximum development in 2023. This sector even predicts an increase in the number of employees for the first time since January 2022.


In other sectors, layoffs will continue, but not as quickly as last year.


According to forecasts, the unemployment rate will decrease by the end of 2023, but will not reach pre-war levels.


Prospects for the development of the labor market after the war


Experts predict that the most popular profession after the victory will be a builder. At the same time, one created workplace in construction contributes to the opening of 6-7 vacancies in subsidiary industries. Also, according to the analysis of the labor market, energy workers, agricultural and processing industry workers will be in demand.


Also, after the victory, many people will not be able to work in the positions they held before. Including due to injuries received during hostilities.


The need for doctors and rehabilitators, as well as specialists in vocational guidance and job adaptation, will increase so that as many people as possible can return to work. Also, after the war, many people will be looking for themselves, and it will be necessary to help them in this.


A reminder. Recently, we talked about public trust in various institutions and authorities. You can find out who Ukrainians currently trust the most - the Armed Forces, the President or the media - here.




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