Polish unemployment drops to single digits

By bne IntelliNews October 23, 2015

Polish unemployment dropped to single digits in September, statistical office GUS reported on October 23. The government has been predicting the jobless total would drop below the threshold for some months, and was finally sated as it fell to 9.7%.

The reading is another in a long series that kicked off last year showing consistently falling unemployment and a tightening labour market. Joblessness has blighted the economy for years, despite its relatively rapid growth compared with others in Europe.

In monthly terms, unemployment fell 0.2pp, the data for September showed. Unemployment stood at 14% in January 2014, but tumbled through most of last year. September was the seventh straight month to see joblessness trimmed. 

More than 251,000 people left the unemployment register in September. The number of newly registered unemployed grew to over 227,000. 

The ongoing fall in unemployment is being driven by growing demand in the industrial sector and the return of seasonal demand in agriculture, according to the National Bank of Poland (NBP). However, the improvement is losing momentum as the year progresses. Polish companies submitted 97,000 job offers in September, signalling no increase compared to August. In July, the number of new job offers stood at 117,000.

Employment - calculated based on companies employing nine staff or more - grew 1% y/y in annual terms through the month, to total 5.59mn. Poland’s labour market is expected to continue to tighten in the coming months, creating conditions for at least some upwards pressure on wages, which grew 4.1% y/y in September to an average of PLN4,059.2 (€958), according to GUS.

As the labour market recovery continues, it should help push consumer demand, a vital element in economic growth due to slower exports expected over the medium term.

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