In December, the official unemployment rate rose by 0.2ppt to 1.9%, the State Statistics Service said. According to the authority, by January 1, 2015 the State Employment Service had registered 512,200 unemployed people. As of December 1, the Service had registered 450,600 unemployed. The number of unemployed people, who received state aid in December, was 408,400; the average unemployment benefit was UAH 1,232 per head that month.
The government forecasts the unemployment level as defined by International Labour Organisation criteria will reach 8.2% in 2014. Labor productivity in Ukraine in 2014 will decrease by 1.7 % y/y, the government believes. The IMF forecasts the unemployment level in Ukraine in 2014 at 10%, however, in 2015 it will drop to 9.8%.
The international labor organization states that the real figures are at least three times as high as the official ones. We believe that the main reason behind the understated statistics, is the large shadow economy that exists in the country, which in turn leads to salaries being paid in "envelopes". In addition, while firms in the country face a shortage of skilled workers, many university graduates can’t find employment or end up in jobs that do not use their skills due to skills mismatch.
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