Ukraine’s unemployment figures have soared by 500,000 to 700,000 due to the coronavirus quarantine in the country, according to a comment made by Gennadiy Chyzhykov, president of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Ukrinform.
Chyzhykov believes that around 3.5 million Ukrainians work unofficially, with 1 million working in sectors that have de facto closed down due to the quarantine.
“Per our figures, around 500,000 to 700,000 unofficial workers practically no longer have work today at businesses that have been shuttered due to the quarantine. If you add the nearly 1.5 million unemployed, then we receive unemployment figures on the level of 2 to 2.2 million people,” commented Chyzhykov.
He noted that when the government announced the beginning of the quarantine in early March, the majority of businesses psychologically prepared themselves to be closed until April 4.
“In connection to the continuation of the emergency situation until April 24, many businesses are asking themselves: how can they make money during a quarantine? Most of them have a margin of safety until mid-late April,” added the Chamber of Commerce president.
Official statistics from the Ukrstat government statistics agency say that there were about 1.4 million unemployed Ukrainians in 2019. Ukrainian unemployment statistics are updated quarterly.
The Chamber of Commerce president’s numbers are markedly higher than predictions made by the former economy minister, Timofiy Milovanov, who had earlier commented that unemployment would grow by 170,000 to 500,000 due to the coronavirus.