Employee market in PolandDespite the COVID-19 pandemic, labor market indicators show improvement and a return of positive trends. For example, since the beginning of 2021, the unemployment rate in Poland has been steadily declining, reaching one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the activity rate for working-age persons (age group 18-64) amounted to 80.8 percent. This rate has increased by 2.1 percentage points since the beginning of 2021.
Poland's average wages and salaries have grown steadily. In December 2022, average gross wages reached a growth of 10.3 percent. The monthly salary in the national economy at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021 amounted to 5.9 thousand zloty gross, while in the enterprise sector – 6.13 thousand zloty gross. However, very high inflation causes an increase in wage pressure in companies and reduces most of the growth in average wages. As a result, the real annual dynamics of the average salary amounted to -2.1 percent in 2022.
Immigrants in the Polish labor marketSince 2015, immigration has become a factor increasing the productive potential of the Polish economy. Polish companies hired immigrants to fill the shortage of domestic workers. The number of issued work permits for foreigners increased by more than 666 percent between 2015 and 2021, of which the most significant percentage were citizens of Ukraine and Belarus. The aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak did not result in mass returns of immigrants and related staffing issues at companies. However, Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 caused a massive influx of refugees into the country. As a result, more than one million foreigners had Social Security in November 2022. The largest group of foreigners in the Polish labor market were citizens of Ukraine, who chose Poland mainly because of the geographical and cultural proximity and a low language barrier.
In 2022, 42 percent of companies in Poland employed workers from Ukraine. Most immigrants work as unskilled manual workers, although some companies recruit only immigrants with higher qualifications. Every fourth worker from Ukraine earned between four and five thousand zloty, and every third between three and four thousand zloty net per month in 2022. The job satisfaction of labor migrants from Ukraine has also increased in recent years. In 2022, 79 percent of them were satisfied with working in Poland.