Decent Work Country Profile (2nd Edition) - Ukraine

Between 2000 and 2008, the Ukrainian economy grew on average 6.9 per cent per year. This steady growth rate was achieved through reform measures and thanks to favourable trading terms and inflow of capital. The global crisis, as well as leaving its own problems, exposed Ukraine’s structural weaknesses: a crumbling infrastructure, insecure property rights, an ageing population and systemic corruption. Moving forward, Ukraine needs to strengthen official labour market and social data to fully capture changes in social indicators and monitor progress towards decent work. Prior to the crisis, employment growth for the population aged 15 to 64 averaged 0.6 per cent per year between 2000 and 2009, suggesting very low labour absorption despite higher economic growth rates. This is testament to the lingering effects of the 1990s transition period when Ukraine was consolidating its market economy after the fall of communism. The employment-to-population ratio for 15 to 70 year olds dropped to 57.7 per cent in 2009 as a result of the global crisis, although recovered its pre-crisis level by 2011. Despite crisis recovery, Ukraine continues to face challenges in both employment creation and improvement of working conditions. The quality of jobs created is a particular challenge, as employment in the informal economy has increased substantially: an extra 1.7 million people were working in the informal economy in 2011 compared to 2000. Reforms to the social security system are hoped to reverse this trend