Recent GUS data confirms initial estimations of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy regarding the registered unemployment rate – in December of last year it was measured at 11.5 percent. – This indicates that improvement on the labour market is ongoing. Sadly, we also have to be prepared for increased seasonal unemployment – says Łukasz Kozłowski, expert of Employers of Poland.
Although the number of the unemployed rose compared to last month, it was caused by seasonal factors, rather than a worsening condition of the economy. Year to year the unemployment rate decrease is still speeding up. Thus 2014 was concluded with a positive touch. Last year’s economic growth proved to be surprisingly pro-employment – 4 years ago, in spite of an annual GDP growth rate exceeding 4 percent, unemployment was still increasing a bit. Now, with a weaker growth dynamic, the rate of people registered as looking for a job has gone down by 1.9 percentage points in the last 12 months.
Sadly, it is almost certain that next month there will be ca. 100 000 new unemployed, as January is the peak of seasonal unemployment. However, the situation should improve after that and starting in March the registered unemployment should start decreasing month-to-month . One can even hope for an unemployment rate lower than 10 percent in the holiday season.
The figures also show that the Christmas period was not particularly fruitful for the retail trade sector. Sales dynamics were at a relatively low level (1.8 percent year-to-year), though one should keep in mind that December saw a 1 percent year-to-year deflation. This is quite a weak result, particularly considering that real wage growth rate was the fastest in 6 years. However, it appears that sooner or later Polish households will start using their increased purchasing power more which will contribute to strengthening internal demand.
Łukasz Kozłowski, expert of Employers of Poland