Lack of vacancies and low salaries: IDPs reveal employment challenges in an IOM survey

Kyiv, 9 October 2019

On the sixth year of displacement, over 60 per cent of IDPs surveyed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) stated that their main source of income is the salary earned by them or their family members. As of June 2019, when the latest IOM survey was conducted, 46 per cent of IDPs had a job, and most of them had been employed for a year or longer.

The share of unemployed IDPs who were looking for a job did not exceed 7 per cent, however over a half of them were unable to get employed for 12 months and longer. Lack of vacancies in general and/or corresponding to the qualification, low pay and unsuitable work schedule were the most frequently mentioned difficulties. Among the unemployed IDPs who were searching for a job and faced challenges, 10 per cent mentioned that they encountered the situations of working without receiving the expected payment or working in the conditions significantly worse than promised.

The latest IOM survey was conducted in April–June 2019 with funding from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). IOM presented the results on 10 October in Kyiv jointly with the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons and the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine.

“Reintegration of IDPs is one of the priorities of the new government,” said Oksana Koliada, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons. “IOM’s survey will help us in our work by identifying which support and services for IDPs we need to ensure in the nearest future.”

Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Serhii Nizhynskyi noted that gaps in IDPs’ integration remain a challenge. “Knowing the unemployment rates and understanding the obstacles to employment is an important precondition for an effective integration policy as well as for countering human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable IDPs,” he added.

According to the IOM survey, the government support remains the second most frequently mentioned source of IDPs’ income. Economically inactive IDP population amounts to 47 per cent, and is represented by pensioners (24%), persons doing housework, looking after children or other family members, as well as by students and people with disabilities.

The average monthly income per IDP household member has increased from UAH 2,667 in March to UAH 3,039 in June 2019. However, it is still lower than the national Ukrainian households’ average (UAH 4,895) and the actual subsistence level calculated by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine (UAH 3,761). More than two thirds (69%) of the respondents stated that they could not cover the unexpected expenses using their resources, and only 11 per cent reported having enough funds for basic and other needs and said they were able to save.

IOM has been conducting national level surveys on the situation of IDPs in Ukraine on a regular basis since March 2016. The research presents integrated data collected within surveys conducted by the face-to-face and telephone interviews methods with IDPs, returnees, key informants and people crossing the contact line, as well as through focus groups discussions. In the latest, 14th round, conducted in April–June 2019, a total of 2,401 respondents were interviewed face-to-face, and 4,073 by telephone.