How the war in ukraine affects global employment

How the war in ukraine affects global employment


How the war in ukraine affects global employment


he war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, has set the world’s global agenda in recent months. The conflict has left thousands dead and displaced, creating an ideological rift in the old continent. But one of the biggest consequences not often highlighted is the impact on the labour market. How has the Ukrainian war affected the labour market in Europe and the world?

The impact of the Ukrainian war on the global labour market

According to the International Labor Organization data, nearly 5 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. If the conflict persists, job losses could reach 7 million jobs. Half of the Ukrainian citizens have already lost their jobs.

But the problems are not limited to Ukraine. Unemployment is also growing in neighbouring countries such as Hungary, Moldova and Poland. The effects of the conflict are also being felt in Central Asia. In places like Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan, many families depend on money sent by relatives from Russia. The loss of jobs in the Russian giant is causing serious losses in their purchasing power.

As we see, globalization makes it impossible to limit the effects of the war in Ukraine to one country. Not even to one continent.

5 global employment sectors affected by the Ukrainian war

The effects of the conflict will be felt in several sectors. The damage to Ukrainian infrastructure is in addition to the sanctions imposed on Russia. Both are countries with very relevant roles in world trade and a conflict between them directly affects the whole world.

Let’s see which 5 sectors will suffer the most from the consequences of the Ukrainian war:

  • Energy industry. A large part of Europe depends on Russian gas. Finding an alternative is incredibly relevant for the countries of the old continent. But this means importing it from more distant countries, which will increase the price. Of course, this change may lead to layoffs in energy companies unable to bear the costs. But it can go much further: the increase in electricity costs is already a fact that many companies are having trouble coping with.
  • Food industry. Russia and Ukraine are two of the largest suppliers of wheat and sunflower oil. Food production companies will be badly affected, but we can also expect major problems in the catering industry. The price of substitute foods, such as olive oil, is rising. And the sanctions will ensure that this price increase does not stop.
  • Transportation. The price of oil is at record highs, no surprise. The reason is that a good part of the oil consumed globally comes from Russia. Sanctions are causing a rise in prices and this will cause problems for airlines and transport companies that use gasoline. In addition, we cannot forget the closure of airspace to Russia: Russian planes are forbidden to fly over several countries and many airlines cannot pass through Russia. The price of flights will be higher, that is assured.


  • Metallurgical industry. Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s largest producers of steel, iron and nickel. Problems with access to raw materials will cause losses in the second sector in several countries in the millions. It is difficult to estimate how far the destruction of jobs will go.
  • Technology industry. Although Russia and Ukraine are not global technology centres, they are producers of neon, platinum or palladium. These metals, used in the construction of various devices, will suffer a shortage. And, clearly, a rise in prices. Russia manufactures a large number of microchips, so we can expect problems in the companies that create our computers.

The war in Ukraine and labour exploitation

We cannot forget that war brings with it a dire situation in which thousands of families lose all economic support. Displaced people have no government to turn to and are easily taken advantage of. 

In Slovakia, for example, the Research Center for Ethnicity and Culture reports that many Ukrainian refugees work in the country without a contract, with long hours and without reaching the minimum wage. This does not only happen there. Displaced people, in a situation without resources, suffer great violations of their human rights in the field of labour.

However, this is not the worst side of the conflict. According to UN General Secretary António Guterres, “for human traffickers, the war in Ukraine is not a tragedy. It is an opportunity. And women and children are the target.”

Refugees from Ukraine, who are mostly women and children (men between the ages of 18 and 60 cannot legally leave the country), are in grave danger of falling into the hands of trafficking networks. Ensuring that this does not become the reality is everyone’s job. That is why it must be a priority to ensure the job security of displaced persons.

At Jobstoday.world we wish for rapid cessation of violence and a speedy recovery in both countries. That’s why we strive every day to connect workers and employers – let’s work together!

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