The most important challenges for the labour market in Poland

Since a few years there is a visible mismatch between what the employers expect from their future employees and what kind of expectation the employees can meet. Nearly ¾ of employers have now difficulties with finding candidates corresponding with their requirements.

As an attempt at changing this situation for the better there was a conference trying to find answer the most important questions.
The first identified problem is stagnation in spite of the steady growth of employees. According to the research, every year since 2010 about 17% of employers were looking for employees. However, combined with increasing uneployment polish labour market  still remains stagnant. Another factor of high unemployment is incompatibility. Job seekers often represent not adequate skills or professional competence (related to the specific job on a certain posts) and connected with self-organisation. The greatest shortage in labour market is seen in jobs related to construction and professionals in strict areas. On the other hand, professions in which there has been noted an excess are salesmen, office workers and labourers in areas such as industry, mining and transport.
Unfortunately, the economic growth is still not sufficient and there is still not enough new workplaces. Up to 90% of employers looking for new workforce intended to hire within the scope of rotation on already existing positions. Percentage of new created posts remains on a stable level in comparison to previous years (10% in 2010, 9% in 2009).

Another factor contributing to the current situation is a general European problem with the ageing society existing also in Poland. Indicators of employment for the older generation is one of the most unfavourable in the whole Europe. In 2011 according to the research of BKL, only 49% of men aged 50-64 were finding employment (average in the EU – 65%). In case of women the indicator is even worse – 48% (EU 63%). Fortunately, the situation is slowly changing, as in the 2012 the rates were 50% for men and 51% for women but still more time is necessary for more visible improvements.
Connected with ageing of the society is lack of motivation among people over 45 years old for further education and self-improvement. That creates another factor discouraging employers from hiring them instead of younger and better educated candidates.
However, the situation of graduates is not better. The unemployment rate among young people is growing and the average salaries also dropped slightly. These days, young people have to be very well oriented in the labour market situation and choose wisely their future studies or vocational school. Good choice may guarantee a good, well-paid job whereas thoughtless choice may lead to unemployment or low-paid job.



/By Emilia Janaszkiewicz, Alicja Łoś/

Spain’s labour reforms

Protesters shout slogans against job cuts outside Madrid's Bank of Spain

Now Spain is facing with labour market reforms. Madrid’s labour market reforms are unlikely to contribute to improved economic performance, despite recent claims An old spectre is returning.  Spain’s labour market reforms are the basis of the country’s improved economic performance. By limiting possible wage claims and negotiating flexible working conditions, companies in the car industry and beyond have become more competitive and boosted their exports.

Spain’s unemployment rate now is 27,2%, and not falling particularly rapidly. Comparing with the previous year april unemployment rate raised by almost 3 %.  The current account deficit is falling, less as a result of increased exports and more because imports fell dramatically as domestic demand collapsed in the wake of the housing and financial crisis. It is unclear if growth will pick up enough in the short run to avoid a rise in the debt-GDP ratio. Meanwhile official figures in France also showed a fresh record high in unemployment. Some 3.2 million people are now searching  work in the eurozone’s second-largest economy.


Source: tradingeconomics

The total number of unemployed people in Spain has now passed the six million, although the rate of the increase has slowed. Spain’s labor costs have been falling, because businesses are taking advantage of their new found freedom “fire” and “hire.”

The key reason, of course, why even the tiniest shimmer of light has to be greeted with jubilation is that wages are always seen as the problem – even in a financial catastrophe-induced economic crisis. For policy-makers, austerity is ultimately self-defeating: current accounts are outcomes, not policy tools, and competitiveness is difficult to target, consisting, as it does, of price and quality relative to what others do.

Workers and skills may have to be matched more closely  – may be good grounds to reform labour with the demand for them.Spain may have a particularly nasty dual labour market – with well-protected insiders and weak, usually unemployed, outsiders – which requires adjustment so that more unstable work will lead to stable jobs.

But it is naive to think labour market reforms will lead to growth, or even to falling unemployment – except, perhaps, in a very narrow margin. Aggregate unemployment falls, all other things being equal, when economic growth outstrips productivity growth. And with productivity rising fast (possibly, or probably, as a result of the crisis, which may have weeded out the very weak companies, thus pushing up average productivity), and growth limping behind, that is not going to happen soon.

By Andrea Blažević, Antea Božić, Kristina Piene and Agita Sarkane

Source: accessed on 27.04.2013 accessed on 27.04.2013 accessed on 27.04.2013

Conditions of labor market in Slovenia

Lisbon strategy

With Lisbon strategy Europe Union wants to make more work-places, this goal they are trying to achieve with guidelines, that enhance economic growth. This is why EU is renewed Lisbon strategy and with the same goal Slovenia made National reforms program, with which they will try to follow these new guidelines. Because this is a big deal for EU and for all the EU members, these changes are demanded on a long term, but with several mid-terms. First changes started in the year 2005 and first mid -terms were set for next 3 years and second for following 3 years until 2010. In these years European Commission made reports about progress and necessary changes for individual countries. In the year 2010 European Commission accepted new headline strategy for growth and work-places, that is named Europe 2020. In this strategy they set 7 major initiatives and 5 major goals.

Situation in Slovenia:

In January 2013 there were 2.058.821 habitants in Slovenia and out of them working age were 912.969 habitants. Labor force participation rate in year 2010 was 66,2 %. The graph down under shows rate of employment comparing between member countries of EU in year 2010.

Picture 1: Employment rate, age group 15-64, 2010 (%)

Zaposlenost od 15 do 64 leta


The unemployment rate in year 2012 had risen up for almost for 1 percentage point, which is a step back or a step closer to situation in Greece. In January 2013 the unemployment rate was 13,6 percent or more than 124 thousand unemployed. The graph below shows comparison of long-term unemployment between gender in Slovenia in years from 2000 until 2010.

Picture 2: Long-term unemployment rate by gender in Slovenia, 2000 – 2010.

Stopnja dolgotrajne brezposelnosti po spolu v Sloveniji


Minimal monthly gross salary for full-time work, which is set by The minimum salary act, for the year 2013 in 783,66 euros, which is 2 percent less than the year before. The average monthly gross salary for full-time work in January 2013 was 1523,80 euros, which is 0,34 percent less than in January 2012.

The European Commission set this following guidelines for Slovenia:

»Adapt legislation to protect jobs in terms of the sustainability of contracts in order to reduce labor market segmentation, in cooperation with the social partners and in accordance with national practice. In consideration should also be parallel job market, caused by the student’s work.«

European Union is forming goals and guidelines, but the individual member countries must form reforms and  solutions to achieve goals by themself. Of course European Commission is making reports of progress and at all-time supervising the work of coordinators, which countries set to lead their programs. The common report about employing is made by The European Council.

In the year 2010 Slovenia accepted Act for regulating labor force, but it does not include regulating The student’s work, which is a huge problem with employing or not employing in Slovenia, because for employers student’s work is a lot cheaper than full-time worker. The problem is that students are ‘stealing’ work-places to themselves and at the same time they are working but not contribution to country and neither to health insurance. With the referendum in the year 2011 we tried to get rid of student’s work with The Mini Jobs Act, which is a form in which students could work while studying, but it would be more regulated, more money would go for taxes and it would be a lot more supervised. But the proposal was rejected at referendum, so this question stays open still.

Because the countries are at different levels of development, different impairment from the crisis and have different problems with employing workers, European Union does not demand the same goals from all the member countries. This are the goals Slovenia has set for the year 2020 on National reform program 2011 – 2012:

  • To rise rate of work activity to 75 percent of habitants in the age of 20 to 64,
  • Reduce the number of people who have a high risk of poverty or social exclusion, namely by 40,000 persons compared to the base year 2008,
  • To reach that percentage of early school leavers will not exceed 5 percent and
  • To reach that 40 percent of young generation, from the ages between 30 and 34, will graduate from tertiary education.


All sources last accessed on 9. may 2013

Blaž Kralj, Alicja Falińska

The migration of the Hungarian students

Nowdays one of the most important problem of Hungary is the braindrain of the graduated students. Almost every second student (18-29 ) is planning to work abroad for longer or shorter period or to settle down.In every year around 27-30 thousands of people are going to foreign countries to work but this is only an estimation because it is impossible to define the number.

Why do they want to leave?

The first reason is that in Hungary the average wages are very low and the unemployment rate is raising and the government hasn’t found the solution to this problem. Furthermore the really well paid jobs are often filled with the actual parties interests,and also there are restrictions,the taxes are increasing while the payments are decreasing. In addition Hungary has a very bad future view,and this is a reason too why the students want to emigrate and also they are afraid about their pension because Hungarian pension system is declining.

These were the internal reasons the external reason is the crisis,since 2008 approximately 200 thousands of jobs were eliminated furthermore who has already lost his/her job and can’t find a new one for a longer period the will also go abroad in hope of a better living.Nowdays an other problem hit up its head,the youth not only wants to work abroad also wants to study abroad.

The government reaction

The Hungarian government introduced new regulations for students.The aim of these are to force the students to learn and work in Hungary.The law which made the biggest prostest sais that whose study was financed by the state has to work in Hungary at least 3 years or the semesters which the state financed in the next 20 years.Although the government reduced radically the number of financed places in terciary education.

The students reaction

The students were protesting against the regulations,but the government introduced theme.Now a lot of students are planning to learn abroad,because they don’t want to work in Hungary or they don’t want to pay for the education and aks for a bank loan.

All in all the Hungarian labour force is changing.Who has an opportunity to work or study abroad leaves.This has a negative effect because a lot of talented people emigrates so the quality of labour market will decrease.Finally the governmet should support the education system because it is the base of a strong country.

Written by : Zsolt Farkas, Helena Wenzelová, Veronika Müllerová, Matej Vician,

Working students in Poland

Those studying full-time have part-time jobs for some extra spendings, extramural work full-time to support themselves. How do Polish students earn their living?

The times when students were supported by their parents until graduating are long gone. 52% of students already start working in their first year of studies or even earlier. Today’s labour market offers young people plenty possibilities for those who are in need of pocket money or simply have to make ends meet due to their financial situation.

The young generation often considers their future career when starting studies. Students take up a job and juggle it with lectures hoping to capitalise on it later on in their professional life. This practice is very common nowadays, since employers now require more and more from their potential employees. A diploma is not enough to get a decent job – other factors like job experience are also very valuable. A candidate who has already been professionally active is much more attractive in an employer’s eyes. Such a worker is already familiar with working environment rules and aware of the discipline that is required from an employee. Apart from that, the ability of juggling studying and working shows determination and multitasking skills.

Ideally, a job combined with studies would match what one studies. Of course, it cannot always be a job in a particular vocation/at a certain post, but experience in a branch already is greatly appreciated. Therefore, a lot of students look for jobs in barrister’s chambers as assistants or in offices. However, when working full-time, students are often forced to move to extramural education, gaining work experience for meagre pay at a cost of compromising quality of their education.

Statistically speaking, Poles are a bit behind in terms of working while studying. Data from the 4th quarter of 2007 (Eurostat) show significantly smaller professional activity among Polish youth in comparison with some of their European peers. Polish rate of professional activity of people aged 15-24 was different than the European average by around 10% and was slightly below 30%. However, the situation is changing.

employment rate 2007

(click to enlarge)

Young people start to understand  the need of taking up a job while studying. This was confirmed in a poll conducted in March 2010 on one of the career-dedicated portals. The users were asked when they started working during their studies. 41% of those asked indicated that it was their 3rd or previous year. 11%  and 8% declared to had started working in their 4th and 5th year respectively. 15% started working only after graduating. 25% never worked while studying.

On average 41% of all types of students juggle work and studies. However, the proportions between the types are essentially different. For extramural students the rate is 69%, for night students 41%, but only 6% for full-time students. The latter have most problems finding employment.

In rich countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany or Switzerland 55-60% of pupils and students work. Especially in higher education a dual system which combines studying and working is promoted. It requires less hours spent at the university, but requires more individual work at home, which can be easily suited to working hours. In Poland such a system is non-existent which explains the fact that full-time students hardly ever can work. They are expected to spend long hours at the universities, leaving them virtually no time to work. Therefore, they prefer easier work like tutoring with flexible hours, or decide to skip classes to make it to their shift.


 by Katarzyna Liszka, Martyna Dzido, Aleksandra Pułyk, Patrycja Perzyńska


Population movement in Germany

Against the backdrop of the low figures of the birth- and mortality level, population movements become more and more important regarding the population development.

Population movement affects the number of the population as well as the structure, e.g. by age, gender, education and many more. Thereby the reasons for the movement of the people are changing over time.

After the Second World War Germany became an important country of immigration in Europe. During the 1960’s and 1970’s especially through the immigration of so called “immigrant workers”. And after the ban on recruitment in 1973 mainly through family reunion of these workers.  In the 1990’s the flow of migration was minted by resettlers, asylum seekers and refugees. Post millennial and notably in the last years there was a significant increase in immigration of well educated workers.

Migration of foreigners to Germany

The major part of foreigners who immigrate or emigrate to or from Germany have their origin in European countries including Turkey (in 2011 more than 75%). The big increase in 2011 can be narrowed down into two regions:

– On the one hand, eastern countries like Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Estonia, because the free movement of workers from the EU in these countries pertains also on the German labour market. Romania and Bulgaria also loosened their regulations concerning the labour markets since 2011.

– The second group consists of countries like Greece, Spain and Italy, because the population is hit very hard by the economic crisis. They cherish great expectation concerning job opportunities because of the successful economy in Germany.

Furthermore we can notice that the education level of the immigrants has increased steadily.

Migration of Germans

The emigration of the German population was relative minor until the 1990’s excluding the time directly after the Second World War. In the mid-1970’s approximately 50,000 people annually emigrated abroad. This figure increased over time and in 2008 there was a new peak with 175,000 emigrants. Since this time the numbers are slightly declining with 155,000 in 2009 and 141,000 in 2010.

Even the mobility of the German population rose since the 1970’s. This is a consequence of the globalisation. The age of the emigrants in 2009 amounts 31.6 years for women and 34 years for men in average. Compared with the average of the German population (45.4 years for women and 42.3 years for men) the age of the emigrants can be described as rather young.

Approximately two out of three of the Germans are emigrating in European countries, whereas Switzerland had been the most popular country with 22,000 emigrants. Classical immigration countries beyond the European Union are the United States, Canada and Australia.

Migration balance

In current times the Germans are an aging and shrinking population. Due to the fact that the birth rate is further declining, the evolution of the population depends on the migration balance.

In general Germany is characterized through a high migration capacity. Thus, a high number of immigrations is faced with a high number of emigrations. From 1991 to 2010 approximately 14 million people from abroad immigrated to Germany. In the same time roughly 11 million people with a migration background emigrated from Germany. In the last years the numbers of immigrations are more and more declining.

The Federal Office of Statistics predicts an immigration-surplus of approximately 200,000 people annually. However this number amounts only 154.000 in 2010, what demonstrates that this assumption is probably too positive.

The conclusion is that Germany has to take the development of the population serious and should try to influence it by means of an active labour market policy to kept their successful economy.

written by Matthias Lerch, Nicolas Lauer, Timo Bug


Immigration to Germany in 2011

In the last year in Germany the number of people with a foreign nationality has risen up to a level to 6.93 million people in the End of 2011. This is the strongest increase since the last fifteen years according to the statistic office of Germany.That is about 180.000 immigrants more than the year before.

The biggest amount of the people comes from European Union countries, just one-eighth ofimmigrations coming from non-European states. Especially the number of immigrant from the middle- and east-European states has risen. The reason for this change is the open and unlimited labour market in Germany. Since the first of May 2011 the citizens of eight countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary) form the East are allow to work in Germany, for them the borders are open. With the EU enlargement in 2004 there was the opportunity for the fifteen old European states to open their market or wait seven years longer. Great Britain, Ireland and Sweden open the labour market directly. The other states wait longer. Germany and Austria took the whole period until the end. They were afraid of wage dumping.

For Romania and Bulgaria the borders are still not open. They join the European Union not in 2004 instead in 2007. So the seven year period to open the labour market ends in 2013. Germany can open their market earlier if they want to. But they are again afraid of workers, who would work for less money than the German workers would do.

The discussion by this topic is about, when is the right moment to open the labour market. On one side Germany needs more labourer especially qualified one, but as well for example in the nursing and care service. On the other hand if a lot worker comes, they maybe take the jobs from a German person. A few politicians have the opinion it is good to open the labour market that late, so Germany can build up same structure to prevent wage-dumping. Other politicians were more for the option to open the labour market earlier, which is now too late. But in their few the good and willing workers already left for example to Sweden, a state which open directly the labour market and welcome them.

In the last year the amount of the Turkish citizens in Germany continue to decline. It was around 22.000 numbers of people less in contrast to the year before.

As well the economy crises don´t stop for migration. In consequent people from the countries, which the crises hit hard, come to Germany. So round 17.000 people from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain immigrate the last year.

From non-EU countries were a relative small number of immigrants. The growth of just 0.5 percent is mainly due to people from the USA, Croatia, Afghanistan and China.