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Unemployment and the labor market in Poland. Employers complain about staff shortages

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The registered unemployment rate, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Development, Labor and Technology, amounted to 5.8 percent in July, 0.1 percentage point lower than in June. – It is difficult for employers to find employees, especially in regions with a low unemployment rate – said Monika Fedorczuk from the Lewiatan Confederation. She added that the decline in unemployment may be the result of high demand for work in industries with high seasonality.

The number of unemployed registered in labor offices amounted to 975.9 thousand, by 17.5 thousand. people less compared to the end of June this year.

Falling unemployment – what are the causes?

As emphasized by the Lewiatan labor market expert, the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point. may be related to the high demand for work in industries with high seasonality. At the same time, she noticed that the unemployment level was slightly higher than in the record-breaking 2019 (in July 2019 – 5.4%).

– It can be argued that the labor market coped well with the negative effects of the pandemic so far felt, which was undoubtedly also influenced by the support from public funds, the main goal of which was precisely to maintain a high level of employment – said Fedorczuk.

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She pointed out that the majority of the unemployed were women (529,609 people) and that the largest unused labor resources were in the following voivodeships: Mazowieckie (139,634), Śląskie (87,471) and Podkarpackie (80,396). According to her, it should be associated – at least in the first two cases – with the size of the voivodeship’s population.

The expert indicated that the highest unemployment rate was in the following voivodeships: Warmińsko-Mazurskie (8.9%), Podkarpackie (8.4%) and Kujawsko-Pomorskie (8.2%). – In the Wielkopolskie voivodeship, the unemployment rate was at the level of 3.5%, which means for employers significant problems in recruiting employees both for specialist positions as well as for technical and simple works. For this reason, some companies decide to employ foreigners, especially from countries outside the EU – she emphasized.

Reform of labor offices

According to Fedorczuk, the reform of labor offices announced by the Ministry of Development is a step in the right direction, but more emphasis is also needed on activating the unemployed.

– Activating people with the status of an unemployed person is not always easy. Job placement is only sometimes of sufficient help. In many cases, it is necessary not only to raise or change qualifications, but also to develop attitudes enabling effective participation in the labor market. The current model of unemployment reduction policy, despite numerous amendments to the act, turned out to be inadequate to the new challenges of the labor market – said the expert.

As part of the reform, MRPiT announces the modernization and digitization of labor offices, their closer cooperation with entrepreneurs and the offices supporting not only the unemployed, but also those who want to change jobs and acquire new skills and qualifications. Procedures for the employment of foreigners are also to be improved.

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