Employment In Ukraine – Young Adults Most Impacted As Nation Rebuilds During War

The Russian invasion of Ukraine goes on. Since the 24th of February, when the Kremlin declared a so-called ‘’special military operation,’’ the war has experienced several phases. Needless to Employment in Ukraine is dynamic and fluid. The job situation for young people in Ukraine and the current condition in Kyiv as the nation rebuilds during active combat.

One of the most dramatic events of the first weeks became the battle of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and its suburbs. As a result, Kyiv province faced severe damage. Many manufacturers got destroyed or burnt down since Russian troops turned out to be not very selective when choosing the targets. However, these sorrowful outcomes pale with the dramatic casualties among civilians in the liberated territories. Ukrainian armed forces found dozens of unarmed non-combatants who were tortured and killed by Russians. These crimes have already been qualified as war crimes. 

At the beginning of March, Russian troops withdrew from Kyiv and neighboring provinces. The situation in and near the capital stabilized (despite on-and-off missile strikes), and people have immediately started rebuilding their homes, businesses, and workplaces. How does the job situation look now in Ukraine? Are there any opportunities for young people to get employed? Specialists from Jooble, a Ukrainian job search engine operating in 69 countries, have prepared their observations on these topics. 

What Jobs Are Ukrainians Looking For? 

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Due to the war, many Ukrainians lost their jobs or went part-time. Employers also faced substantial difficulties relocating employees, saving documentation, and maintaining office safety. Many companies started actively donating to the Ukrainian armed forces or charity organizations helping refugees. However, the initial shock after the war outbreak has worn off, and businesses are adjusting to the new circumstances. 

According to Jooble data, users have started looking for vacancies more actively after the significant decline in job inquiries during the first weeks of the war. The most popular ones are drivers, security guards, registered nurses, cleaners, warehouse loaders, salespersons, babysitters, welders, and accountants. People also seek options for paid cash daily and remote jobs. The number of inquiries among female users has risen dramatically. Since thousands of men got conscripted, women have started seeking additional sources of income to support families. 

How Does The Labor Market React To The War?

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Industries were affected by the war differently. As a result, they are recovering at different speeds. Some companies stopped functioning because their manufacturers are currently in occupied territories. The others transformed into volunteer centers and hubs for humanitarian support. Some businesses had to change their activity to completely meet the changing market demands. Unfortunately, there were many cases when factories, production departments, and offices burnt down due to air strikes or artillery barrages. As a result, some companies have to start from scratch.

Employers became less active. They slowed down the hiring process or even put the workers on furlough. However, some industries got affected less than others. 

Employment Situation In Kyiv And Its Province

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What does the situation look like? Let’s consider the situation in Kyiv province. 

For example, the Ukrainian IT industry is showing almost pre-war figures. People got used to working remotely, and many companies managed to evacuate their employees during the very first days of the invasion. 

The list of the most sought-after specialists traditionally consists of product managers, programmers, front-end developers, back-end specialists, and QA or DevOps engineers. People in these professions got affected the least among employees in Ukraine. Since Kyiv has become a relatively safe place, many companies are gradually opening their offices. They also encourage workers to come back.

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Some branches of the retail industry also show signs of fast renewal. The number of vacancies in food retail has almost reached the pre-war period. The same goes for pharma retail, pet products, clothes and shoes, and home appliances. The most affected retail industries are furniture, building materials, and sports equipment. 

Specialists also observe the rising demand for medical workers. It is no wonder since the number of people wounded during combat has increased dramatically. Registered nurses, doctors, and other medical staff are worth their weight in gold. Specialists observe significant growth in salaries in this field. 

Since the war outbreak, many people decided to address to seek psychological support. Thus, the demand for psychologists and mental health counselors has skyrocketed. 

Another sought-after profession is a builder. Due to severe damage to manufacturers, factories, and residential houses, construction workers have many offers. 

Challenges with Employment in Ukraine

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Currently, the Ukrainian labor market is facing staff outflow. Many people started serving in the armed forces and territorial defense units. Other employees had to leave the country due to the constant threat of bombings by the Russian army.  

As a result, employers are expected to seek specialists who can quickly solve urgent logistic and renovation problems. Although railway connection is functioning despite the constant air strike danger, specialists in logistics who can offer viable solutions to the problem of transporting goods from abroad and within Ukraine are valuable on the market. 

At the same time, according to Jooble data, the most challenging situation is to find a job for lawyers, insurers, service workers, educators and scientists, domestic staff, and specialists who have worked in the automotive business and procurement. The number of vacancies for them has decreased substantially. 

How Many People Lost Their Jobs?

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Women’s bands from Vinnytsia visiting Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline

According to the report released by the  Kyiv City Employment Center, more than 9,000 people have received unemployed status in the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of the Russian invasion. This figure seems relatively small. However, the number of people affected by a dramatic reduction in business activity is more considerable. Many companies haven’t reported on the status of their employees yet. They also decreased their workers’ salaries.  Some specialists claim that every second Ukrainian either lost a job or half of their income. Needless to say, the employment rate in Ukraine has been affected.

On the other hand, Kyiv, as the state capital, is one of the most powerful economic, intellectual, and trade hubs of Ukraine. The same goes for its neighborhoods where dozens of Ukrainian and international companies (their offices, production manufacturers, and warehouses) are located. When the Russian troops left these territories, employers immediately started renovating their businesses and offered people jobs. Many companies claimed they would relaunch their activities in the nearest future and keep producing products and services (although with a smaller staff)

What Can The Youth Expect From The Labor Market?

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Are there any job opportunities for the youth in this region? Yes. According to Jooble experts, young specialists with a good command of foreign languages (English, German, French, Turkish, etc.), a high level of computer literacy, and the ability to learn fast remain in high demand despite the difficult economic situation. Among the well-paying offers for this category of job seekers are account-and sales specialists, PPC managers, recruiters, tutors, film and video editors, public relations specialists, copywriters, interpreters, web developers, etc. 

Young people eagerly work in the delivery services, retail, pharmacy, and beauty industries. They are active and don’t hesitate to pick up various remote options. Since the number of companies renewing their activities in Kyiv and its province is growing, the employment situation for the youth here will also improve. 

The level of unemployment in Ukraine has skyrocketed due to the Russian invasion. Many employers froze the hiring process or even had to fire workers. However, the initial shock and fear of the war faded away. Kyiv and Kyiv provinces liberated at the beginning of March demonstrate gradual recovery. Despite the atrocities committed by the Russian army, people keep tirelessly rebuilding the ruined buildings and returning to work. 

Many businesses in the Ukrainian capital and its provinces have almost reached the pre-war figures. There are job opportunities for the youth. Young specialists with a good command of foreign languages and computer skills may find well-paying options. 

The battle of Kyiv seems to be won. Yet, the war is still here. To succeed, Ukraine is mobilizing its economy, and so is the labor market. 

All Images courtesy Ukrainian Ministry of Defense

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