Ukraine faces labor shortage: only the return of refugees may help
In October, Ukraine recorded a record number of vacancies since the beginning of the full-scale war. At the same time, there are still few job seekers. The trend indicates that the country is facing a shortage of personnel. Meanwhile, the availability of well-paid jobs is one of the conditions for refugees to return to the country. This is what can save Ukraine from a massive shortage of workers.
This was stated by analysts of the Center for Economic Strategy (CES). According to their research, the number of job offers has reached 85% of the average level for 2021 for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale Russian Federation.
At the same time, the number of CVs submitted at the beginning of October was only 76% of the average for 2021. This indicates an emerging shortage of personnel, which is primarily affected by the number of citizens who have left the country.
According to media reports, businesses are already beginning to experience a shortage of labor. Thus, competition for one job has dropped more than eightfold compared to the beginning of the full-scale invasion. 24% of employers say they are facing a shortage of staff. At the same time, it is most difficult to find highly specialized specialists.
"The problem is not as global as it might seem at first glance. Some industries have a surplus of personnel, such as media, office work, IT, culture, and marketing. The situation with vacancies also differs from region to region. So far, the number of vacancies in the Zakarpattia region is twice as high as before the great war, while there are only 11% of the pre-war figure in the Kherson region," CES analysts comment.
However, they do not deny that the labor shortage will worsen in the future. According to the Ministry of Economy, the deficit may reach 4.5 million employees within 10 years.
"To overcome the problem, we can count on the return of some Ukrainian refugees. According to our research, Ukrainians are ready to return home not only when the war is over. For many, the availability of well-paid jobs and a higher standard of living are important factors. In addition, the termination of preferential treatment in host countries and the lack of affordable housing abroad will stimulate some to return home," the CES explained.
As reported by OBOZ.UA, the fulfillment of the last condition is unlikely to be difficult. European countries are planning to cut benefits for Ukrainian refugees one by one. Ireland is the most recent case, which will limit free accommodation for newly arrived refugees to 3 months. They are also discussing cutting social benefits.
Germany is also changing its approach to Ukrainian refugees as they will be required to find employment as soon as possible. Moreover, Ukrainians should not refuse job offers as this will cause additional difficulties.
Some countries even introduce additional payments to Ukrainians for their return to their homeland. For example:
- Norway pays 17.5 thousand kroner (1.2 thousand dollars) to every Ukrainian who has collective protection status, a residence permit, and is ready to return home.
- Switzerland plans to pay up to $4355 in 2024-2025 to encourage Ukrainians to leave earlier than the expiration date of their right to stay.