Country of Creative People
According to Eurostat, unemployment rate in Poland is lower than European average. In February 2013 it amounted to 10.6%, whereas European average was 10.9%. However, residents of Poland find employment numbers as an alarming trend. The problem is not only the lack of jobs, but also education offer that is not adapted to the needs of entrepreneurs. More information about the situation in the labour market can be found on the website of the Central Statistical Office.
In total, more than 16 million people are active in the labour market in Poland; more than 9 million work based on employment contracts concluded for an indefinite period, 3.4 million work based on employment contracts concluded for definite period of time, nearly 3 million take up business activity, and 700,000 work based on task contracts. Poland is in the lead of European countries where temporary work prevails, which is greatly criticised by trade unions, but at the same time is very favourable to entrepreneurs. More information about employment trends in Poland can be found on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
The largest number of jobs is offered in the SME sector; more than 90% of Poles work in SMEs, and nearly one half of them (40%) are employed by micro companies (with up to 9 employees). According to economists, in the years 2008–2013 Polish companies displayed great flexibility and adaptability to market requirements, thanks to which Poland avoided recession. Additional information about the condition of Polish companies and barriers to their development can be found on the website of Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan.
Study results show that graduating from a HEI no longer guarantees finding and attractive job in Poland. Over the past 20 years, the number of graduates of HEIs has grown considerably, yet many of them majored in fields, such as political science and sociology, which do not offer good prospects for employment. Over the past years the largest number of job offers was advertised for specialists; engineers, programmers, designers and telecom engineers. The biggest challenge was to find work in the education (because of the population decline), trade and construction sector.
Wages in Poland are among the lowest in Europe. Minimum pay (2013) amounts to PLN 1600 (nearly EUR 390 at the exchange rate of EUR 1.00 = PLN 4.1), and average wage in the enterprise sector reaches PLN 3900 (approx. EUR 950). However, majority of Poles earn PLN 2000-2500 gross (EUR 490 – 610) per month. With taking high price levels into consideration, this means that their monthly disposable income is low as compared to other European countries. This is why many young Poles have sought employment abroad. After Poland's entry to the European Union at least 2 million people emigrated, majority of them went to work in Great Britain and Ireland.