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Poland – Employment outlook up, but skills shortages remain

19 September 2013

Randstad's latest Employers' Plans survey has increased optimism in the Polish labour market, highlighting positive results, and attracting attention from public authorities.

At a press conference last week to announce the 19th edition of the Employers' Plans survey, the managing director of Randstad Eastern Europe Kajetan Slonina, was joined by the Polish minister for Labour and Social Policy, Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, to announce the results of the study. The study produced quarterly in collaboration with TNS Poland.

Over the summer months,employment increased in Poland, and it is expected that this trend will continue even after the holiday period has ended, according to the report.

It found that 39% of companies in Poland increased their workforce during the first half of 2013, while a further 40% retained their staffing levels. In addition, 28% of firms said that they are planning to employ more people over the rest of the year.

The results suggested to Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz that this is a good sign for the Polish employment market, which according to the Warsaw Business Journal prompted him to say: "We are back on the growth track."

As well as applauding the results as progress for the Polish economy, Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz used the Randstad press conference as an opportunity to announce the unemployment rate for the country.

He announced that unemployment levels in Poland had fallen from 13.1% in July to 13% in August. This shows six consecutive months when unemployment has declined.

In a statement, Randstad said: "The presence of the minister at the press briefing is the clear success of the Randstad Research Institute, demonstrating the confidence of public authorities gained by our project."

The Randstad Research Institute was launched in 2008 and produces two reports on the labour market in Poland every business quarter. These are the Employers' Plans, which began in November 2008, and the Work Monitor that first took place in 2010.

In the Employers' Plans, 300 respondents explain their views on what changes they wish to implement within their business, as well as the impact that movements in the economy will have on them. These include such topics as employment levels and wage increases.

Results are gathered by TNS Poland by interviewing individual company representatives and asking them to fill in computer-aided questionnaires. It is presented with the aid of thought leaders in the labour market; such as Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency and Confederation Lewiatan.

As well as signs of increasing employment, however, challenges do remain in Poland. The report revealed that one of the issues facing employers at present is finding workers who have enough skills to meet the criteria of the job roles they need to fill. As a result, although many wish to increase their staffing levels, some may be unable to find the appropriate workers for the roles.

The report suggested that the unemployment rate could be lower more quickly if these demands for skills are met, saying that the mismatch could otherwise hamper efficiency in business and a sustained economic recovery.

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