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12.7% unemployment rate despite Polish economy's acceleration


Although the Polish economy accelerated in recent months, the registered unemployment rate shot up to 12.7% in January, its highest level since August 2007. In our view, the sharp rise in jobless numbers was mainly the consequence of severe winter weather during this period (and the associated fall in demand for seasonal work) and the increase in the unemployment benefit that took effect on 1 January (some people delayed their registration until that time to be able to draw a higher benefit). Whilst unemployment should start falling in the spring as demand for seasonal work returns, we should not expect a durable improvement in the labour market situation until the economy gains more speed (experience shows that the Polish economy must expand by at least 3.5-4% y-o-y in order to generate a net increase in jobs). Therefore we forecast that at the end of 2010 the registered unemployment rate will stand at 12.5%.

Paweł Sionko
Construction Market Analyst, PMR

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