To date, about 400,000 unemployed people are officially registered in Ukraine. Since 1 January 2021, more than 1 million citizens have sought assistance from the State Employment Service, which now has about 80,000 job openings in its database. Although there is a gap between supply and demand even one year after the first lockdown, the situation in the labour market is gradually stabilising. Now, there are 12% fewer unemployed compared to the same period in 2020. Some companies even see an increase in staff numbers and dynamics for more openings, including those due to foreign offers. At the same time, the pandemic has had an irreversible impact on employers and their speed of business restructuring. Many companies have adopted a strategy to retain key employees.

Lockdowns were imposed in Ukraine in the same period in 2020 and 2021 – in March and April. However, the readiness of the market and people for them last year and now differs, as does as the number of job openings in the labour market.

COVID moneyFor example, Jooble analysts found that the total number of vacancies from employers in 2021 exceeded the last year’s lockdown figures by 28%. Wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, transport and logistics, construction and architecture, and the IT sector topped the list of sectors with the biggest number of job offers in both periods of the study.

In particular, during the 2020 lockdown, employers most often looked for sales managers, couriers, security guards, sales assistants (mostly in the markets), and sales representatives. The demand of employers for such specialists is observed this year as well, but the priority has changed a bit. At present, they primarily need sales consultants, loaders, sales managers, security guards, and taxi drivers.

As for the job demand, this year it has grown by only 3% compared to last year’s lockdown. In 2020, people actively responded to such job offers as courier, call centre operator (remotely), taxi driver, copywriter, and cashier. This year, job seekers are most interested in the vacancies of promoter, courier, consultant manager and administrator manager in online stores, and instructor consultant.

By the way, according to website, the most in-demand jobs in the Ukrainian labour market in 2020 were those in sales sector, IT, telecommunications, marketing, advertising and PR, accounting for 40% of vacancies.

Olena Zhurochkina, managing partner of Opeople recruiting, believes that formally there are a few more vacancies now, but it has become much more difficult for a recruiter to fill a vacancy post because an employer wants one person to perform duties of three and sometimes even more workers.

Currently, there is an employer market in Ukraine, but candidates are not lowering their expectations either. In addition, an increasing number of Ukrainians want to be employed officially and get an officially shown salary and good social package. Therefore, the “grey offers” now have a five times lower response.

At the same time, a survey on the website showed that today only one-fifth of companies in Ukraine provide employee health insurance. The same number of respondents notes that although there is no insurance yet, the management is considering introducing it. And more than half, almost 60% of companies, say that they do not insure staff now and are not going to in the future.

Remote work

After quarantine restrictions were imposed, remote work has become more popular than before. Thus, in March-April 2021, the number of remote job openings increased by 37% compared to the same period last year. Now, most employers are looking for accountants, copywriters, call centre operators, sales managers, and PC operators. Web designers, online store managers, English translators, call centre operators and accountants were among the most popular remote work professionals last year.

Technology in worldAnother interesting fact is that, according to job sites, employers are more willing to hire candidates with less experience or no experience at all. Thus, 44% of such vacancies are aimed at employees with work experience from one to three years, 34% – without experience, and only 2% with experience of more than six years. At the same time, the vast majority of remote job seekers (61%) are already experienced and have been working for more than six years, while only 10% have no work experience.

At the same time, the demand for remote job seekers in 2021 has declined by 17% compared to 2020. For two years in a row, search queries are related to translation services, online store administration, remote accounting, etc.

In the context of lockdowns and quarantine, Jooble analysts observe an increase in demand for part-time vacancies: side jobs, jobs on a part-time or half-time basis. In 2021, supply and demand exceed the 2020 figures by 31% and 23% respectively.

Recruiter Yuriy Herasymenko note that according to the analysts’ forecasts, 2021 will be very difficult for both employees and business owners. Each participant will face the tasks that require flexibility, mental stability, and patience towards the other party.

Unscrupulous employers

According to official data, the wage arrears in Ukraine have increased by 400% – up to UAH 3.8 billion – since 2014. At the beginning of 2021, this figure exceeded UAH 4 billion. and will continue to grow. At the same time, headhunters say that many employees got their salaries cut by 30-40% in 2020. In addition, employers saved on health insurance, bonuses, did not provide official employment, and announced competitions for filled vacancies.

Natalia Tolub

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