Quality of Life Barometer 2024

July 2024
A joint study with the EBA of the impact of a full-scale war

For the second year in a row, job satisfaction has been rated the highest among all components of the Quality of Life Barometer, with 69% of respondents satisfied with their current job, self-realisation and protection of employees' rights. This is demonstrated by the results of a new wave of this survey in 2024, in partnership with Kernel and Gradus Research.

At the same time, estimates of employees' incomes are more restrained. Among the business audience, only 47% consider their income to be sufficient for a quality life (last year it was 53%), and 4% consider it more than sufficient. Compared to 2021, the level of income has increased for 65% of respondents. The number of respondents who consider their income to be insufficient has slightly increased — from 38% in 2023 to the current 49%. It is worth noting that currently 80% of the business audience earns more than UAH 30 thousand.

Important factors that keep EBA companies’ employees in their current jobs include the ability to work remotely (55%), a friendly team atmosphere (47%), good relations with their manager (39%), and comfortable and safe working conditions (36%).

The quality of social life (leisure, communication, participation in volunteer activities) is traditionally high, with 48% being satisfied with their life outside work. Last year, the number was 53%. The number of those dissatisfied with their social life has slightly increased to 25% (18% in 2023).

The audience's assessments of the healthcare and education systems remain stable, which is a positive indicator in times of war. At the same time, there is a decrease in neutral ratings in favour of unsatisfactory ratings in these categories. Thus, 32% of the business audience is currently satisfied with the education system, while 38% are dissatisfied. While 40% of respondents are satisfied with the healthcare system, with 27% dissatisfied. It is worth noting that private medical and educational services are popular among the EBA audience, which may affect the respondents' assessments.

The lower scores were given to such factors as the legal environment, security and the environmental situation. Satisfaction with the level of security in Ukraine has quadrupled over the past year. Currently, 79% rate the security situation as unsatisfactory, compared to 53% in 2023. Only 4% of respondents are satisfied with the level of security in 2024, compared to 16% a year ago. It is worth noting that the previous wave of the survey was conducted on the eve of the announced summer counter-offensive in 2023, a period marked by a significant emotional upsurge in society.

There was a significant drop in the assessment of the legal framework, which includes the assessment of discrimination, the level of democratic freedoms and administrative services. The number of dissatisfied people increased from last year's 25% to 61%, while the number of satisfied people decreased accordingly — from 33% to 15% in 2024. The assessment of the environmental situation in the country remains traditionally low. Only 10% of the business audience is satisfied with the state of the environment, while 66% are dissatisfied (53% last year).

The survey shows a downward trend in the assessment of the general experience of life. Overall, 27% of the business audience assess their experience of living in Ukraine positively. Another 36% rate it neutral, and 37% have a negative experience. In 2023, there were 44% of satisfied and 21% of dissatisfied respondents.

Expectedly, the general audience's assessments are lower than those of the business audience represented by employees of the EBA member companies. Among the general audience, 14% of respondents are satisfied with their overall experience of living in Ukraine, 39% are neutral, and 48% are unsatisfied. Among the general audience, the highest scores were given by the younger (under 25) and older (over 60) audiences and residents of Kyiv.

Similarly to the business audience, the highest scores among the general public were given to the quality of social life, job satisfaction, education and healthcare systems, while the lowest scores were given to the legal environment, environmental situation, security and income. All assessments, except for the level of income, showed a decline compared to the previous year.

"It is very important to monitor changes in the moods and needs of people whose resources are being depleted in the third year of the full-scale war. We see a drop in some ratings and understand what areas the government needs to support businesses in developing. We would like to draw the authorities' attention to the significant decline in the assessment of the legal environment, which underlines the importance of the rule of law not only for business operations but also for the development of society, a sense of predictability and a positive outlook. At the same time, we are pleased to note the stability of the majority of scores and are proud of the efforts of our member companies to support their employees," comments Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association.

"People have always been and remain the greatest value for Kernel. As a socially responsible company, a leader in the Ukrainian and international agro-processing sectors and one of the largest employers in Ukraine, we always strive to create the best possible conditions for preserving the human resources potential of our country. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, these approaches have become especially relevant. Today, it is crucial for every business to research social sentiment and transform its corporate offerings to maintain its market position and continue to grow dynamically with a professional team. We joined the Quality of Life Barometer survey with interest. We are confident that its results will help the Ukrainian business environment to update its practices of interaction with employees," comments Kateryna Spivakova, Director of Communications and Government Relations at Kernel.

"The results we received from the business community demonstrate stability, which is a good indicator in times of war. However, we are seeing a deterioration in the general public's assessment. The year 2024 generally demonstrates a great deal of public fatigue from the war, overstrain, hyper-stress, and the fact that people no longer understand when it might end, leading to such a decline in the quality of life among ordinary citizens. Moreover, we remember that both 2022 and 2023 were more optimistic in terms of the horizon for the end of the war, with people expecting a successful counter-offensive, which significantly affected the assessment of the experience of living in Ukraine. Now we see a sober view of the current circumstances," comments Evgeniya Blyznyuk, sociologist, CEO&Founder of Gradus Research.

The Quality of Life Barometer (until 2022 — the Happiness Barometer in Ukraine) is an annual survey conducted by the European Business Association since 2018. The main partner is Kernel, the research partner is Gradus Research.

Survey audience: general audience — men and women aged 16 and older living in cities of 50K+ (excluding temporarily occupied territories and territories of active hostilities), sample size: 1166 people, field period: 3-6 May 2024; business audience — employees of EBA member companies, regardless of location, sample size: 472 people, fieldwork period: 8-16 May 2024.

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