Ukrainians fill in employee gaps in Poland
Two to three thousand people – that, according to the predictions of the National Bank of Poland, is the annual number of Ukrainian citizens who will arrive in Poland in the upcoming years. Today, our country hosts over a million Ukrainian men and women who look for work opportunities and a new life. Jacek Kotłowski from the Economic Analyses division of NBP said a growth of 200-300 thousand per year is the most probable scenario.
Workers from other countries are welcome by numerous employers, as more and more Polish companies face employee shortages. In recent months, unemployment in Poland has been on record-low levels. Agriculture and constructions are two areas that rely on foreign workforce. Government experts are wondering how to make employing people from outside Poland easier. A special team is working on new procedures with respect to hiring workers from the East of Europe, especially skilled workers and professionals. They would apply not only to Ukrainians, but also citizens of Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, and Russia. Today, more than 80 percent of work permits in Poland are granted to the citizens of Ukraine.
Even though Poland is an attractive destination for job seekers from Eastern Europe, as Polish workers receive higher remuneration than e.g. those in Ukraine, in comparison with Western countries Poland offers wages that are low. According to recent Eurostat data, Polish minimum salary is far away from those of the United Kingdom, Belgium or France. Hourly wage is among the lowest in the entire EU. The only states where workers are paid less per hour are Bulgaria and Romania.
Even though it is easy to find employment in Poland, numerous Ukrainians decide not to stay here but rather move further west, for example to Germany, where salaries are much more attractive. This may become a problem for Polish construction companies and other businesses employing Ukrainians.