IT specialists: how many left in Ukraine and did their earnings change during the war? A research

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73% of respondents noted that after February 24, their income remained at the same level or increased.

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By February 24, there were about 285,000 IT specialists in Ukraine, the main tech hubs were located in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Odesa. Due to the full-scale war, from 17% to 20% of them went abroad. Another 2.5% of IT specialists went to defend Ukraine. This was stated in the results of the IT Research Resilience study presented by the Lviv IT Cluster.

«As of the end of 2021, there were approximately 285 thousand people working in IT in Ukraine, and the main tech hubs were located in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Odesa. The full-scale war shook the tech industry as much as any other sphere. According to IT Research Resilience, as of May-June, between 50,000 and 57,000 IT specialists went abroad. Approximately 7,000 IT specialists joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the territorial defence. That is, today, the approximate number of IT specialists in Ukraine reaches 228,000 people,» – the research results state.

18% of the interviewed specialists who had been registered as individual entrepreneurs (FOP) i Ukraine, plan to legalize their activity abroad. Also, according to IT Research Resilience, the median salary in Ukraine after February 24 is $2,360. The average age of an IT specialist is 31 years. 71% in the industry are men, while 29% are women.

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73% of respondents noted that after February 24, their income remained at the same level or increased. However, costs have also increased. The largest part of the monthly income, approximately 20% of the salary, is saved. Approximately 21% of income is spent on food. 89% of the surveyed professionals say that they donate part of their income to charity.

According to IT Research Resilience, IT specialists who relocated to the west of Ukraine spent about $14.7 million on household needs during the first month after moving. And another $13.6 million is spent every month in the regions where they settled after February 24. If they continue to stay in these regions and spend the same amount by the end of 2022, the total amount of spending will reach $137.1 million.

Regarding migration attitudes, the study shows that 57% of respondents want to live in Ukraine, regardless of the conditions and context. In addition, during the survey, IT professionals were asked to imagine themselves in different conditions a year from now.

«In the case of the implementation of the positive scenario, which provides for European integration and liberalization of the economy, 78% of the respondents will remain in Ukraine, and 12%, i.e. approximately 27,000 people, will try to leave abroad. The portrait of a specialist who is determined to emigrate looks like this: they are mainly specialists with the Senior qualification of 34 years who have a couple. How the war in Ukraine will end, what the country’s economic policy will be after victory – this all has a significant impact on the decision to leave. Individual factors play no less a role,» – the study explains.

According to IT Research Resilience, 85% of surveyed companies said that as of May, they managed to fully or almost completely resume the business activity that existed before February 24.

National Bank of Ukraine also indicates that, during January-May 2022, the IT industry showed growth compared to the same period of 2021. According to the research data, if the situation develops in the same way, then export revenue may reach $8.5 billion by the end of the year. If we take into account the economic expectations of market participants, this indicator may amount to $8.1 billion. If IT specialists who have gone abroad will lose their tax residency in Ukraine, the estimated export revenue may amount to about $7.2 – 7.5 billion.

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You can read more about the most important trends in the IT industry of Ukraine during the war, the migration attitudes of technical specialists and the scenarios of further developments in the IT Research Resilience study.

Note that IT Research Resilience is a research project of the Lviv IT Cluster. It was transformed from the IT Research Ukraine project, which the Cluster announced at the beginning of 2022. Due to the full-scale Russian offensive, research was adapted to new realities. The project was implemented with the support and partnership of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the USAID Program «Competitive Economy of Ukraine» and the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, which supports initiatives to promote reforms in Ukraine and transformative projects. The collection and analysis of basic data within the sociological part of the IT Research Resilience project were provided by the Fama Research Agency on the order of the Lviv IT Cluster.

Translated by Vitalii Holich

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