sexta-feira, 12 de outubro de 2012

This is not job for Poles

There is almost 2 million unemployed in Poland. The unemployment rate in the end of August 2012 was 12,4 per cent. In the same time, the number of immigrants working in Poland is growing. It is said that we start to avoid some kind of job, taking example from more develop countries.
There are lots of vacancies in unemployment office in Poland. The problem is that these vacancies are there for a long time. The people do not want to work in occupations as to be a cleaner, a baker, a telemarketer or a loader operator.  It is for them embarrassing, too hard and uneconomic. There is a gap on the Polish labor market. On the one hand, we have more educated people and, on the other hand, there is still high demand on physical work, work which does not require any qualification.  The economists claim that we took the example from developed countries and, with growing wealth, less people want to work in production. They prefer to work in the services industries. The work in service has to require some qualification from the workers, in other case it is not attractive enough.
To fill this gap, the employers hire foreigners. We can notice increasing number of issued work permits in Poland. In 2008, there were issued 13 753 work permits. In 2011, over 40 thousand work permits were issued, which is almost three times more than in 2008.  Not only work permits let foreigners working on the territory of Poland, but also the employer’s statements claim that they want to hire immigrants for seasonal work.  Based on this data, in 2007, worked legally in Poland almost 22 thousand foreigners and in 2011 almost 260 thousand, which is 12 times more. Included gray market, in 2011 in Poland worked more than 500 thousand foreigners.
Poland is an attractive country, especially for Ukrainian and Belarusian workers. They are usually employed in secondary labor markets: the grey market, seasonal jobs or jobs that do not require any qualifications. Poland is placed close to their countries and the money they earn they can send it to their families. To compare, the salary in Poland with the salary in Ukraine, the minimum Polish salary is about 4 times more than the minimum Ukrainian salary. Another example is the one of Vietnames. They usually apply for permanent residence in large cities (Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław) and find employment mainly in trade. There are also many immigrants from Nepal, Uzbekistan and Moldova. But earnings in Poland do not attract immigrants from Western Europe, still.
The unemployed claim that the immigrants “steal” their jobs, but it is not true. Companies hire immigrants because they need people to work. The costs of employing immigrants are not low. The companies besides normal wage have usually to pay for their accommodation. The immigrants even help us to fill the population gap, which will still extend.
Demand on immigrant’s work will increase in next years. It will be caused not only by aversion of Poles to certain work (e.g. housekeeping) but also by a ageing society. In 2035, the number of people aged more than 65 in Poland will grow from 17 to 25 per cent of whole population. The population will also be shrunk about 5 million of habitants. There is the possibility that there will be insufficient work supply on Polish labor market. According, it is required to encourage immigrants to work in our country. The scale of immigration to Poland should increase by about 30 to 80 per cent, depending on the scenario of macroeconomic development.
In my opinion, government should change a labor policy. We need hands to work. It should be a special promotion of jobs facing deficit of labor supply. We should show people that working is better than staying at home. On the other hand, we should create good condition for immigrants who really want to work. It is not just about high social care. A good example of hosting immigrants is shown by Germany. They let them working, but do not finance their social security.  Poland can have difficulties to improve the labor policy because we are surrounded by European Union and because of the Schengen Agreement, which sealed our east boarder.

Ilona Kowalczyk 

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho]

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