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Labour market: waiting for more signs from the economy


2012-01-23

Following an unexpected, if modest, recovery of labour demand in November, average employment in the enterprise sector declined visibly in the final month of 2012, even despite continued mild weather conditions that allowed for the continuation of many out-of-door jobs. Although the slowdown in yearly employment growth in December was in large part a statistical effect caused by a higher base of comparison, nominal year-on-year job growth remained in a downward trend.

In our view, the deteriorating situation on the labour market is due to a mixture of disappearing seasonal jobs and a slower flow of orders, which has been reported by companies in Poland for several months now. In spite of the continued strength of the Polish economy, the euro debt crisis and the attendant uncertainty over the economic outlook are making firms reluctant to expand and create new jobs. Nonetheless, companies in Poland are far from panicking in the face of the many doom-and-gloom stories in the media about an imminent collapse of the eurozone and a consequential recession, and there are no signs of any frantic job-cutting.

Though the coming months are likely to see a seasonal fall of labour demand and an associated increase in the official jobless rate, on the whole the labour market appears to be in a state of suspension and anticipation. A further deterioration of global economic conditions and weakening of economic activity may deepen companies’ concerns and lead to bigger job cuts. On the other hand, any relief, however temporary, in the eurozone crisis and any brightening of the global economic climate could, considering that the Polish economy keeps expanding by about 4% and that preparations for Euro 2012 are steaming ahead, bring a positive surprise in the spring, with a notable improvement in the labour market situation.



Paweł Sionko
Construction Market Analyst, PMR

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PMR is a British-American company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern Europe as well as other emerging markets. PMR key areas of operation include business publications (through PMR Publications), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and market research (through PMR Research). With over fourteen years of experience, high international standards in projects and publications, highly skilled multilingual staff and a wide network of co-operating research companies and market experts, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.