An estimated 4.8 million people in Ukraine have lost their jobs since the Russian invasion began in February, according to a new brief by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a UN agency.
"If hostilities were to escalate, employment losses would increase to seven million," the report estimated, emphasizing that "if the fighting were to cease immediately, then a rapid recovery would be possible, with the return of 3.4 million jobs. This would reduce employment losses to 8.9 percent."
The ILO report also pointed out that the Ukrainian government has made considerable efforts to keep the national social protection system operational by guaranteeing the payment of benefits, including to internally displaced persons, through the utilization of digital technologies.
Out of 4.8 million people who lost their jobs, a total of 1.2 million of them are refugees who fled to neighboring countries and 3.6 million of them are unemployed living in Ukraine, according to the ILO report.
More than 5.23 million refugees who are mainly women, children, and people over the age of 60 have fled to neighboring countries since Feb. 24, the report said Wednesday.
The crisis in Ukraine may also create labor disruption in neighboring countries, mainly Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, the report added.
"If the hostilities continue, Ukrainian refugees would be forced to remain in exile longer, putting further pressure on the labor market and social protection systems in these neighboring states and increasing unemployment in many of them," it said.