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Randstad/TNS OBOP: better employment prospects, deeper concerns about economy


Nearly one in four companies in Poland (24%) expects to increase staff levels during the next six months, against 15% who say they are likely to reduce headcount over this period, according to a new wave of a tracker poll of 300 employers by Randstad and TNS OBOP. This represents increases of respectively seven and two points compared with three months earlier. At the same time, the share of firms planning to maintain employment at current levels decreased by nine points to 56%.

The report’s authors suggest one should not read too much into the five-point improvement in the net balance of employment prospects, however, as the study also shows that companies have become sharply more pessimistic about the economic outlook (following a temporary uptick in the run up to Euro 2012), and more cautious about wage increases. Agnieszka Bulik, Management Board Member at Randstad Polska, says that with economic growth decelerating, unemployment about to increase and labour costs remaining high, employers are putting on hold any plans of major staff expansion and are under no pressure to increase wages in any substantial way.

The outlook for hiring varies between sectors. The highest percentage of firms expecting a net increase in their employee count was found in “other service activities” (50%), followed by trade and repairs (29%) and manufacturing (27%). On the other hand, in transport, warehousing and communication 35% companies said they expected to reduce staff levels and none declared plans to boost them. In the construction sector the percentages planning increases and reductions were similar, at about a quarter of the total (24% against 23%).

At the same time, there was a further decrease in the proportion of companies planning to increase wages, to 12% from 14%, and an increase in those saying they expect wages to fall, to 8% from 3%. The proportion expecting to keep wages at their current level declined to 70% from 77% three months earlier.

The number of firms predicting the economy to grow during the next six months declined to 11% from 19%, and those expecting it to slip into recession more than doubled to 33% from 15%. A plurality still expect stagnation (47%, down from 57%).

The survey was conducted between 31 July and 7 August 2012 among companies employing 10 and more people.

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