Society and labour market
The Wielkopolska Region is seeing a steady increase in the population. At the end of 2017, the region was inhabited by 3,489.2 thousand people. In terms of population, Wielkopolska invariably ranks third in the country, after the Mazowieckie and Śląskie Regions. Wielkopolska's population is 9.1% of the country's total, and this share has been growing in recent years.
In the structure of the population according to the place of residence, the urban population prevailed. In 2017, the inhabitants of towns and cities constituted 54.6% of the region's population. The population by gender structure has not changed - women still dominate among the inhabitants of the Region. Their share stood at 51.3%.
In the Wielkopolska Region, similarly as in Poland, gradual changes in the population structure by economic age groups are observed. In 2017, the share of the population at pre-working age increased to 19.3% and of the population at post-working age - to 19.4%. The working age population dropped to 61.3% of the region's population.
Population of Wielkopolska by economic age groups in 2013-2017
The Wielkopolska Region is one of the most dynamically developing regions of the country. Large production potential, developed service sector, high productivity of agriculture, high level of entrepreneurship are just some of the factors of the region's economic development. The potential of Wielkopolska makes it an attractive region for both domestic and foreign investors.
An increase in the number of people at post-working age and a decrease in the number of people at pre-working age are observed. The demographic changes taking place in Wielkopolska, though progressing less dynamically than in Poland, indicate that the population structure will change from stagnant to regressive one, characterized by a low birth rate and at the same time extending the average life expectancy. This entails an increase in the share of older people in the total population. This situation will have a direct impact on the labour market as the age group proportions change, affecting the availability of labour force.
The ageing of the population will have an impact on the demographic burden of the region, which will necessitate changes in the labour market, education, healthcare systems and social welfare.
2018 was the best year in a dozen or so years as far as the situation on the labour market is concerned; the registered unemployment rate at the end of the year was 3.1%. In the same period the average unemployment rate in Poland amounted to 5.8%, and the highest rate was recorded in the Warmia-Mazury Region - 10.4%. At the same time in the region there is a large variation in the scale of unemployment in individual poviats, i.e. from 1.3% in Poznań poviat to 7.7% in Konin poviat.
Unemployment registered in the region is at the level of 50,867 people, which is 13.6% less than in December of the previous year. Decreases were recorded in all the regions; in Poland the number of the unemployed amounted to 968.9 thousand people.
Unemployment rate in Poland and Wielkopolska in 2014 – 2018 (in %)
Inhabitants of the region are characterised by high economic activity. In 2017, the labour force participation rate for Wielkopolska's working age population was 77.7%. At the same time, it should be stressed that Wielkopolska is characterised by one of the highest employment rates in the country, which in 2017 was at the level of 75.2% (regarding the population aged 18-59/64).
In recent years, a systematic increase in the number of employees has been observed in Wielkopolska region. In 2017 this group consisted of more than 1 million 541.7 thousand people. The largest number of people work in broadly understood services (54.8%), almost every third resident of Wielkopolska (31.3%) is an employee of the industrial and construction sector, while the smallest group are employees of the agro-forestry sector (13.9%).
In 2018, employers submitted 103,785 job offers to labour offices in Wielkopolska, i.e. 16.4% less than in 2017. The most sought after were simple workers, salesmen, warehousemen, hand packers, housekeepers, auxiliary construction workers, office technicians, simple industrial workers, delivery vehicle drivers, locksmiths.
According to the short-term forecast formulated on the basis of the "Occupations Barometer" survey, the 2019 estimates identify 54 deficit occupations at the regional level. Most of these professions have been sought after in the region for a long time, including those that supply key industries such as transport and logistics, construction, services and furniture. The list of deficit professions was joined by: employees of uniformed services, tinsmiths and car painters, mechanics of machines and equipment, operators of lifting and transport equipment, farmers and breeders, car diagnosticians, gardeners and orchard workers, operators of machines for the production of rubber and plastic products, as well as: financial and accounting employees with knowledge of foreign languages and a broadly understood group of analysts, testers and operators of ICT systems. It is estimated that in 2019 the deficit will affect both specialists in many fields and workers performing simple and physical work. There will be a shortage of well qualified service workers with professional preparation (cooks, bakers, confectioners, butchers, tailors, upholsterers, hairdressers and beauticians). Shortages of workers in the construction industry will occur in the case: bricklayers and plasterers, carpenters, roofers and tinsmiths, fitters of building installations and fitters of metal structures. There will be a shortage of workers for finishing works, pavers and construction workers. In the medical sector, problems with obtaining doctors (mainly specialists), qualified nurses and midwives with valid licenses and carers of the elderly or disabled will persist. In 2019, independent accountants and accounting staff will continue to be sought after. The deficiency of financial and accounting staff with foreign language skills is becoming more and more apparent. For another year in a row, employers in all poviats will see a shortage of truck and tractor drivers and welders. The trade sector will also be looking for qualified employees. Sellers and cashiers will remain in deficit.
Deepening human resources deficit in Wielkopolska was reflected in the results of the survey. For the first time we observe the situation that in the projection for Wielkopolska there are no surplus occupations. On the other hand, due to the academic character of the agglomeration, philosophers, historians, political scientists and cultural experts, for whom there are no job offers on the market, remain in great surplus in the Poznań poviat. As many as 13 professions, including specialists with higher education (economists, philosophers, historians, political scientists and cultural scientists, chemists and chemical engineers, teachers, educators, public administration specialists), may have a problem with finding a job in the Konin poviat. Due to the specificity of the poviat and the restructuring of the mining industry, the list of surplus occupations is completed by miners and operators of machinery and equipment.
The average gross remuneration in Wielkopolska in 2017 amounted to PLN 4 124.13, and in the domestic scale to PLN 4 527.89. Only in the Poznań poviat the average remuneration exceeded the national average and amounted to PLN 5,062.37.