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POLAND: Labour Market: growth and uncertainties

Apart from a historically low unemployment rate in 2017, a record number of jobs has been created on the Polish labour market. As of the end of November, 250 thousand new jobs were created by Polish enterprises, the Rzeczpospolita daily informs. Notably, this is higher than in 2007 when the economy grew by 6.7%. Over a third of the new positions were created in the industrial sector, especially export-oriented companies such as car manufacturers, metalworking or furniture factories. This is applauded by economists who argue that such jobs translate into productivity which is crucial to maintain Poland’s growth. These figures are also bound to satisfy the ruling party which puts a special emphasis on reindustrialising the economy.

Still, businesses note that with such low unemployment and high rate of job creation it is increasingly difficult to find qualified workers. While it is true that around 250 thousand non-EU foreigners held work permits in Poland at the end of 2017, this number will have to keep increasing. Even then, workers from countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, or Moldova – which are the top 3 countries of origin for foreigners – provide mostly unqualified labour. The Ministry of Development seeks to attract more economic migrants to Poland to fill gaps on the labour market but one of the biggest challenges of 2017 will be to maintain the level of available qualified candidates.