As shown by most recent assessments made by the Ministry of Family Labour and Social Policy, in January the registered unemployment rate was 10.3 percent compared to 9.8 percent at the end of last year. – Increased unemployment in winter is unavoidable due to the significant impact of seasonal factors on the situation on the Polish labour market. January is always the worst month in this regard. In light of this, such an increase in unemployment rate is not a particularly negative sign. The next month should not be much worse than that, and a return to relatively dynamic unemployment decrease can be expected starting in March or April – comments Łukasz Kozłowski, expert of Employers of Poland.
The start of a new year is usually the worst period for Polish labour market. Seasonal employment – particularly Christmas-related – comes to an end, meaning that there are more unemployed than in summer months. An increase in unemployment by 0.5 percent is not the worst – for instance, it is lower than 2009-2014.
Moreover, the fact that a year to year unemployment decrease rate of 1.6 percent was maintained is a positive accent. December figures were a disappointment in this regard and caused concern that the labour market upturn may be losing its pace. Naturally, maintaining such a decrease rate will be increasingly difficult and in 2016, unemployment will likely not fall as quickly as last year. On the other hand, one may expect the low unemployment rate to cause wage growth to speed up this year. The most serious threat to such a positive scenario is the clearly decreasing investment dynamics, strongly linked with job creation. The picture will be clearer once the figures regarding GDP in the IV quarter of last year are published.
Łukasz Kozłowski, economic expert of Employers of Poland