18:01 17.02.2009

Ukrainian unemployment to triple in 2009 – employment official

Unemployment in Ukraine will triple to 9% in 2009, according to a forecast by the State Employment Center.

"The unemployment rate, calculated to ILO standards, will be around 9% in 2009 and about 3 million people will apply for employment services," the head of the State Employment Center, Volodymyr Halytsky said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

It was reported earlier that Ukraine had 3% unemployment at the end of 2008.

Halytsky said there are job vacancies in many areas. There is demand for salespeople and wait staff, drivers, security guards, IT specialists, and advertising managers, while demand for bank employees has started to pick up, he said.

The president's administration has forecast that unemployment will reach 3.5 million by the end of March 2009.

Oleksandr Levtsun, the head of sociology programs at the Sofia Center for Social Research (Ukraine), has said unemployment might reach 5 million people by April 2009 and 10 million by the end of the year.

Ukraine's population is just under 50 million people.

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