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Ukrainian labor migration: realities, prospects, vectors for the modernization of the state policy aiming at its management


The projected increase in migration flows is a significant factor for further economic growth in the midst of the new global globalization processes. Ukraine is an active participant in the exchange of labor.

Determinants of labour migration among Ukrainians are significant gaps in wage levels, lack of quality jobs at home. Further deterioration of the socio-economic situation in Ukraine, reduced income, increasing stratum of the working poor and a general fall in living standards enhance sentiment Ukrainian emigration.

The Ukrainian foreign labor migration is influenced by the economic situation and the situation on the labor markets of the national labor force main recipients (EU, Russia, Belarus).

Expected after the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU the increase of migratory flows associated with the workers’ mobility will occur in the midst of the further increasing migration loading on European countries and the introduction of the more stringent measures of migration policy towards new immigrants, and those who already live in the EU.

In Russia, the economic stagnation caused by rising unemployment, a significant devaluation of the ruble against the US dollar, the sharp increase of the prices for wholefood, and the introduction of strict immigration regulation, will reduce employment opportunities for Ukrainian labor migrants and will negatively affect their status and income.

As a result of military aggression of Russia in the Crimea and Donbass region, there is an unprecedented increase in migration flows – both internal and external. High intensity movement defines powerful challenges for Ukraine: the loss of a significant number of people of reproductive and working age is irreversible due to the migration to Russia and Belarus, emigration of more affluent (entrepreneurs) and highly skilled workers to developed countries in Europe and North America, the increased overload on the regional labor markets, which contain largest amounts of the internal migrants.

Today Ukrainian state migration policy needs modernizing on legal and social security of citizens who became labor migrants as a result of their internal relocation and those who are employed abroad. Among the modernization measures – a more flexible and operational structure based on the analysis and forecasts of the migration situation; the international experience of migration processes regulation, primarily related to the forced relocation; improvement of the social security for the Ukrainian migrant workers by developing mobility of retirement plans; empowering effective employment of migrant workers who have acquired new professional experience and returned to Ukraine; through the introduction of a recognition system and harmonization of education obtained abroad, both formally and informally.

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