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Expert: A quarter of Ukrainian working families are below the poverty line

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Nov. 15, 2011, 4:35 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Ukraine is on the verge of another wave of labor and intellectual potential losses, expert from the Razumkov Center and former First Deputy Labor and Social Policy Minister Pavlo Rozenko has said. During a press conference on Nov. 14, the expert said that employment does not protect a person from poverty in Ukraine nowadays.

Rozenko also said that, according to recent data, 23% of families in which all members have jobs, and 37% of families in which only one member is employed, are below the poverty line.

The poverty risk is even higher for families with children. According to the expert, 26% of families with one child, 39% of families with two children, and over 70% of families with four and more children are living in poverty.

The difference between the number of poor families in rural areas and in cities is very noticeable.

In particular, 15% of families in cities and 36% of families in rural areas are below the poverty line.

According to Rozenko, such indices are caused by the state policy oriented to cheap labor and the fact that a considerable share of the economy is in the shadows in Ukraine.

The expert also said that of Ukrainians' income 42% is wages and 39% social transfers and payments, while in Europe the share of wages in citizens' income is 60%.

According to the expert, today the average Ukrainian wage is Hr 2,700.

In the education sphere the average wage is Hr 2,100, in the public health sector – Hr 1,700, and in the social services sector – Hr 1,700.

An average wage in the sphere of public service is Hr 3,100.

Thus there is no balance between the authorities' running costs and the upkeep of the budget-funded segments.

Rozenko added that Ukraine is third in terms of the number of applications for receiving green cards for gaining employment in the United States, following Nigeria and Ghana.

The expert also said that 853,000 Ukrainian citizens have submitted such applications.
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