As of the end of the first quarter 2021, unemployment among Ukrainians of working age, as calculated with International Labor Organization methodology, has reached 10.9 percent, the worst in the last two decades of quarterly statistics available. According to OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin, the situation with employment and jobs was to some extent better even during two much deeper crises, in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

The politician cited the data according to which 1.8 million people were jobless in the Q1 2021. The figure grew by 1.9 percentage points or 257,000 people for population aged 15–70, compared to same period in 2020. Employment slid by over 1.067 million persons for this group, down to 15.423 million, which is the worst absolute employment figure since Ukraine’s independence.

“More than 250 000 new unemployed persons in one year, more than 1 million jobs cut instead of creating the promised 500,000 jobs — this is the real result of the acting government’s activities,” Lovochkin said.

The MP named the reasons behind the unemployment, which are the aggravating trends of depopulation and population aging, decline in investments and deindustrialization, as well the ongoing conflict in the Donbas.

“All these factors force millions of labor migrants leave Ukraine, thus cutting the employment in the country and the potential for economy revival. In such conditions, any job creation program will have only limited effects,” Lovochkin said.

“Negative trends on labor market might be corrected by simply providing sustainable long-term economic growth at 5–7 percent rate during at least 10–15 years. And that needs increased investments, larger export, and higher labor efficiency. These will create demand and offer for new, more productive, and better paid jobs, increase employment, and stop the outflow of labor from Ukraine. Such scenario is only possible provided that the conflict in the Donbas ends,” Lovochkin summed up.