Job market development in Poland: employment, trends and migration movements


The job market in Poland today

The Polish job market in January 2023, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS), comprises a total of 15,043.4 thousand individuals.

Among them, 52.8% were men, and 47.2% were women. The average age was 42.4 years, with a median age of 42.0 years, which was the same for both men and women. The most feminized sectors were “Healthcare and Social Support” and “Education,” while the most masculinized sectors were “Construction” and “Mining and Quarrying.”

Contract employment prevailed among both working men and women. By the end of January 2023, approximately 80% of all employees in the national economy held this status.

Minimum wage increase: What’s the catch?

The year 2023 brought significant changes for Polish workers, especially those earning the minimum wage. In January, their salary increased to 3,490 Polish Zloty gross. However, these changes are not complete, as another increase is planned for July, with these salaries reaching 3,600 Polish Zloty gross.

However, even such positive changes can have some negative consequences, such as increased inflation. As this boosts the demand for goods and services, it can lead to price increases. Consequently, the actual purchasing power may remain at the same level if price hikes occur in tandem with wage increases.

Historically low unemployment and labor force participation

The Polish job market remains in excellent condition despite economic downturns. The unemployment rate has reached historically low levels at 5.1%, while labor force participation (58.4%) and employment rates (56.7%) are very high.

Possible influencing factors include:

  • Change in employment structure: In recent years, employment in the public sector and agriculture has decreased in favor of rapidly growing sectors.
  • Population decline, including the working-age population: A decrease of approximately 2.5 million people or 10% compared to 2009.
  • Increase in the proportion of people with higher education: The percentage of individuals with higher education rose from 17.1% in 2011 to 23.1%.
  • Mass emigration immediately after EU accession: Data from the Central Statistical Office shows that mainly people aged 20 to 29 emigrated, with the number of emigrants increasing from 1 million in 2004 to 2.5 million in 2016.

Although Poland has a low unemployment rate, this issue is still being addressed, and measures to support the unemployed, including unemployment benefits, have been developed.

However, the Polish job market has its own problems that are challenging to solve.

Compared to the EU, there is low labor force participation among people over 50 years old (8.9%), especially among women. Young people and men with basic education also face difficulties in finding jobs on the job market. Individuals with basic education (especially men) also have significantly lower labor force participation than the EU average.

Job market trends in Poland

The year 2023 brings new challenges and opportunities to the job market, not only in Poland but worldwide. Trends are shaping the future – technology, sustainability, and flexibility. Are we prepared for these changes?

– Remote work: Many employees expect flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere. For employers, this means the opportunity to access a larger pool of applicants and select the best candidates without being limited by their location. For example, with knowledge of Polish, remote work is easily attainable. Current job listings requiring knowledge of Polish can be found on

– Automation: On one hand, it leads to job losses, but on the other, it creates demand for new skills and professions. This shift can significantly increase productivity and reduce production errors.

– Environmental awareness and sustainability: Currently, companies are seeking professionals who can help them operate more environmentally friendly and sustainably, creating new jobs in this field.

Which industries are hiring and which are downsizing?

In the third quarter of this year, 31% of companies plan to hire new employees, while 17% plan to reduce jobs, according to the “Labor Market Barometer” report by ManpowerGroup. 48% of companies intend to maintain employment at current levels.

According to the report, employers from the IT sector (26%) and the communications industry (26%), as well as the consumer goods and services sector (16%) and the industry and raw materials extraction sector (11%), plan to increase employment in the coming months. On the other hand, companies in the transport, logistics, and automotive sectors recognize the need for layoffs (3%).

To stay ahead of changes in the job market in your industry, it is recommended to monitor current job listings in Poland. This will provide insights into how the demand for professionals, salary levels, and applicant requirements are evolving. This way, you can maintain your competitiveness in the market, assess the need for new skills, and realistically evaluate your career prospects.

Which professions are considered the most respected?

According to the Reputation Ranking of Professions and Specializations for 2023, SW Research has compiled a list of the most respected professions in Poland. Firefighters rank first, followed by field surgeons and nurses. Skilled workers rank 12th out of 38 professions, while unskilled workers rank 25th. Politicians and internet creators are at the bottom of this list.

Which professions are in high demand in Poland today?

In 2023, the most affected occupational groups in Poland include truck drivers, nurses and midwives, psychologists and psychotherapists, teachers, construction workers, and IT professionals.

According to data from the “Occupation Barometer,” the greatest labor shortage is in the industry (23,500 open positions), trade (16,500), construction (13,000), transportation and warehousing (9,800), and professional, technical, and scientific activities (8,100). In particular, the industry requires skilled workers, craftsmen, locksmiths, and machine operators.

Dynamics on the Polish labor market: emigration and immigration in 2023

Will the issue of Polish labor migration remain relevant?

Unfortunately, despite significant achievements in the Polish job market, emigration of Poles may increase slightly in 2023, but not significantly. According to the “Polish Labor Migration” report by Gi Group, based on SW Research, nearly 17% of compatriots plan to work abroad over the course of the year.

For 76.3% of Poles planning to emigrate, the main argument when looking for work in the West is a more attractive salary. 61% mention a higher standard of living. 28% emphasize greater freedom, while 13.6% highlight a safer geographical location.

However, the main trend remains an increasing immigration rate to the country.

The transformation from an emigration country to an immigration country

Over the last decade, Poland has undergone an impressive transformation – it has turned from a country of emigration into a country of immigration.

The number of immigrants as of May 2023 reached over 1 million and 85 thousand people compared to 184 thousand in 2015. The main groups include Ukrainians (81.6%), Belarusians (5.6%), Georgians (3.8%), and Moldovans (2.5%). Furthermore, people from 174 countries received work permits, making up 6.3% of the total. Therefore, particularly in large Polish cities, multicultural and multireligious heritage is very much present.

This development was supported by rising wages, a liberal immigration policy, low unemployment, and straightforward job placement.

What impact does this have on the Polish labor market?

Simultaneously with the favorable economic situation in the Polish job market, challenges such as an aging society, a reduction in the number of working people (estimates suggest a decrease of 850 thousand working-age individuals from 2020 to 2025), and insufficient birth rates (the birth rate was 1.26 in 2022, while a value of 2.1 is required for generational replacement) are becoming apparent. These factors are already leading to a labor shortage in certain industries.

Estimates suggest that in the coming years, 200,000 to 400,000 workers from around the world will be needed annually to prevent a collapse of the social system and enable rapid economic development.

However, migration and the refugee wave pose complex challenges for the economy and society. A well-organized long-term migration and integration policy can help address these issues. Therefore, this topic remains highly relevant and is still in the developmental phase.

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