The ILO and Poland
About the ILO in Poland
The labour market navigated the pandemic well, but headwinds may hamper further improvements
The transition of Poland in the last three decades is considered a development success story. The country moved from middle to high income status in less than 15 years, entering the group of high-income countries in the mid-2000s. The economy expanded rapidly with growth rates of 4 to 5% per year, job and income growth were broad-based, and prosperity was shared. While in the early 1990s, per capita income was 38% of the EU average, it now reaches 76%.
Labour markets benefited from these developments and experienced an impressive turnaround. While unemployment was still at 20% in 2000, the country has currently one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe at 3%, while the employment rate is slightly higher than the EU average (74% vs 72%). The Covid-19 pandemic caused a relatively mild economic recession in 2020 with a reduction of GDP of less than 3% (EU: -6%). Meanwhile, the recovery in 2021 was strong and Poland is expected to lead all EU countries in GDP growth in the period 2020-23. The short-term impact on labour markets was also relatively low with 2% of all working hours lost when compared to 2019 (EU: 7.4%), and a recovery in 2021 already beyond 2019 levels. Continue reading