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Unemployment rate eases to 13.1% in March


The registered unemployment rate stood at 13.1% in March, the Central Statistical Office (GUS) reported. This was down by 0.1 p.p. compared with February, but 0.1 p.p. higher than in the corresponding month of the previous year.

In the analysed period, just over 2.13 million Poles were registered as unemployed, a decline of 16,300 in relation to one month earlier and an increase of 57,200 versus March 2010. The highest unemployment rates were noted in the voivodships of Warminsko-Mazurskie (21.4%), Zachodniopomorskie (18.6%), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (17.5%), Podkarpackie (16.5%) and Lubuskie (16.4%). The lowest rates were recorded in Wielkopolskie (9.8%), Mazowieckie (10.1%), Slaskie (10.8%) and Malopolskie (11.1%).

Meanwhile, GUS data showed a decline in the scale of redundancy plans reported by employers to labour offices, in both monthly and yearly terms, though the number of such notices actually increased. Thus, at the end of March 355 companies were declaring an intention to cut 35,900 jobs (including 25,100 in the public sector). This compares to 325 companies and 38,400 jobs (28,400 in the public sector) in February, and 286 companies and 41,000 jobs (24,800 in the public sector) in March 2010.

The number of job offers submitted to labour offices in March, at 83,200, was 64% higher than in February but down by over 29% year-on-year.

With economic conditions showing gradual improvement and with demand for seasonal workers rising as spring arrives, we expect the situation on the labour market to start recovering more strongly in the months ahead. Another factor that should help drive the jobless rate down is the full opening of the German labour market to workers from Poland effective from 1 May. Therefore we forecast that at the end of 2011 the registered unemployment rate will be 11.3%.

Paweł Sionko
Senior Economist
PMR Publications

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