1,2 million Ukrainians are labour migrants

1,2 million Ukrainians are labour migrants, according to the Labour Migration Survey 2012, carried out by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, in cooperation with the Institute of Demography and Social Researches in the framework of the European Union funded Technical Cooperation Project “Effective Governance of Labour Migration and its Skills Dimensions”. The project is implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Press release | 31 May 2013

1,2 million Ukrainians are labour migrants 

According to Ms. Natalia Vlasenko, Deputy Head of the State Statistics Service the survey identified the scale, scope and geographic coverage of Ukrainian citizens’ external labour migration, socio-demographic composition of labour migrants, including their educational attainment, areas of training for departure abroad, their economic activities, working conditions, frequency and duration of their trips, etc. 45.5 thousand people out of 23.5 thousand households were interviewed.

  1.2 million, or 3.4% of the Ukrainian population aged 15-70 were identified as labour migrants from January 2010 until June 2012. Almost half of these (48.5%) are short-term labour migrants. Labour migrations are more common among men – they make up two-thirds of the total number of labour migrants. The share of labour migrants in the total number of men aged 15-70 is 4.8% whereas the ratio for women is almost half – 2.2%.The rural population’s rate of participation in labour migrations is 2.9 times higher than the urban population’s: 6.3% of rural residents aged 15-70 are involved in labour migrations, whereas the figure for urban residents is 2.2%.

As stated by Ms. Senyk, Director of the Department on Labour Statistics of the State Statistics Service, the largest recipient countries for the Ukrainian labour force include the Russian Federation (43.2%), Poland (14.3%), Italy (13.2%), and the Czech Republic (12.9%). Other countries to which the labour force migrates include Spain (4.5%), Germany (2.4%), Hungary (1.9%), Portugal and Belarus (1.8% each).

 According to the survey findings, labour migrants earned USD 930 per month on average, which is almost three times higher than the average monthly wage of staff workers employed in the Ukrainian economy. Most funds earned by migrants arrive in Ukraine through informal channels: they are sent through acquaintances or vehicle drivers or delivered personally. Migrants’ earnings are of great importance to well-being of their households.

According to Ms. Vlasenko, State Statistics Service of Ukraine Deputy Head: “The survey within the project helped improve the methodology and implementation  of household surveys on labour migration in order to mainstream them into statistical practice on a periodic basis (once in 4-5 years)”. As stated by Ms. Vlasenko, the survey results create an information base, required for making informed  policy decisions on labour migrations regulation, social and legal protection of citizens of Ukraine working abroad, advancement of reintegration of returned migrants, and more effective use of labour potential of Ukraine.

Stephan Dahlgren, Delegation of European Union to Ukraine, stated that "Real life developments in terms of Ukrainian labour migration is something that will impact on both EU and Ukraine. The EU very much appreciates that this project, and the report being presented today, is providing the tools with which Ukraine can further define a precise policy reflecting its national interests on labour migration.”