Many Czech businesses hoping to fill job applications gap by hiring Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainian refugees

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the energy crisis, inflation and the war in Ukraine are all affecting the Czech labour market, writes news site Aktuálně.cz. Worried about an upcoming economic crisis, employees are now more reluctant to change work unless they have to, the news site writes. In turn, businesses are instead looking for Ukrainians to fill vacancies.

Despite the Czech labour market still not being short of job offers, the number of applicants is declining. Workers in the Czech Republic are worried about the possibility of an upcoming economic crisis and of increased competition as a consequence of the large influx of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees since Russia invaded the country in February.

Tomáš Ervín Dombrovský, who works as a data analyst in HR company LMC, told Aktuálně.cz that Czech companies began hiring more people around the autumn of last year. This situation lasted until the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now, he says, there is still a high level of demand but the number of applications has decreased by up to 30 percent when compared with March 2021.

Aktuálně.cz writes that up to two thirds of workers in the Czech Republic are unhappy with their current salaries and this is what primarily drives them towards looking for work.

The calls for higher wages are mainly a reaction to the ongoing wave of inflation, which soared up to 12 percent in March, the news site writes. The associated rise in consumer prices has made real wages decrease by 2 percent.

In a survey conducted by website, roughly 20 percent of respondents said that their current salary is not sufficient to cover their expenses. A further 21 percent said that they are starting to feel financial pressure and are not sure how they will be able to last over the next several months.

It is unclear whether this will eventually lead to a rise in job applications among Czechs. For now, companies are hoping to find new sources of labour among the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the country since Russia invaded Ukraine two months ago.

According to a recent survey, cited by Aktuálně.cz, more than 59 percent of domestic companies said that they are willing to hire refugees.