Society and labour market

In the Wielkopolska Region constant population growth may be noticed. At the end of 2016, the Wielkopolska Region had a population of 3,481.8. In terms of population, the Region ranks third in the country – after Mazovia and Silesia. The inhabitants of Wielkopolska represent 9.1% of the country’s total population and in recent years the share continues to grow.

The population composition according to the place of residence is dominated by urban population. In 2016 urban dwellers accounted for 54.7% of the region's inhabitants. The structure of population by gender did not change. Women continue to dominate the region’s population and their share is at the level of 51.3%.

In the Wielkopolska region, similarly to the whole country, progressive changes in the population structure by economic age groups may be observed. In 2016, the share of people in pre-working age remained at the level of 19.2%. However, the share of people in post-working age increased to 18.8%. People in working age represented 62.0% of the inhabitants of the region.

Inhabitants of Wielkopolska by age in 2012-2016

Inhabitants of Wielkopolska

Labour market
The Wielkopolska Region is one of the most dynamically developing regions of the country. High production potential, developed service sector, high agricultural productivity and high level of entrepreneurship are only some of the factors influencing the region’s economic development. Wielkopolska’s potential makes it an attractive region for Polish and foreign investors.

We may observe an increase in the number of people in post-working age and a decrease in the number of people in pre-working age. Demographical changes in Wielkopolska, although less dynamical than in the whole country, show that the population structure will switch form stagnant to regressive, characterized by low birth rate with simultaneous increase in the average life expectancy.

This relates to the increase in the share of elderly people in the total population. This will translate directly into the situation on the labour market, because the proportions of age groups will change, which will affect the availability of workforce.

The processes of society aging will affect the demographic burden in the region, which will force changes on the labour market, in education and health systems as well as social welfare.

The year 2017 was the best in several years in terms of labour market situation and at the end of the year the registered unemployment rate was 3.7%. In the same period, the unemployment rate in Poland was 6.6% and the highest rate was recorded in Warmia-Masuria Region. At the same time, there is a significant variation in the unemployment rates in individual disricts of the region, i.e. from 1.5% in the Poznań District to 9.7% in Konin District. Aside from low unemployment rate, the number of unemployed persons amounted to 58,857 persons which is lower by 24% than in the previous year. Drops were recorded in all regions and the number of the unemployed in the country amounted to 1,081,700 persons.

Unemployment rate in Poland and Wielkopolska in 2012 – 2017 (in %)

Unemployment rate in Poland and Wielkopolska

The residents of the region are characterized by high professional activity. In 2016, the economic activity rate for working-age residents of Wielkopolska amounted to 76.3% (74.5% in Poland). At the same time it should be emphasized that Wielkopolska has one of the highest employment rates in Poland, which was at the level of 72.5% in 2016.

In recent years, the Wielkopolska Region has seen a steady increase in the number of employed persons. In 2016 this group consisted of 1,500,100 persons. The majority of people work in broadly understood service sector (54.6%), nearly every third inhabitant of Wielkopolska (31 %) is an employee of the industry and construction sector, while agricultural and forestry workers represent the smallest group (14.3%).

In 2017, the employers submitted 124,146 job offers to the regional employment offices, i.e. 6.9% less than in the previous year. The region is one of the leaders in terms of the demand for workers reported to the employment offices. The most sought-after employees include salesmen, storage workers, packagers, maintenance workers, truck drivers, qualified office workers, seamstresses, warehouse workers, auxiliary construction workers, office technicians, drivers and motor driven trucks (forklift) operators.

According to a short-term forecast based on the "Occupational Barometer" survey, in 2018, a majority of polish districts will experience demand for qualified workers, employees engaged in simple physical work as well as specialists in the developing sectors. There will be a shortage of construction installers, installers of metal structures, finishing and construction workers.

Difficult staffing situation will occur in the sector of medical services. Problems with the availability of doctors, qualified nurses and midwives as well as carers for the elderly and the disabled will be sustained. Independent accountants, mainly with professional experience and thorough knowledge of current provisions will also be sought. It will be harder to acquire employees in the field of bookkeeping and accounting. Meeting the need for stuff for the TSL (transport-forwarding-logistics) and IT industry will be a challenge for today’s labour market.

Deficits of well educated staff, with professional experience, with knowledge of foreign languages, IT systems and a number of additional qualifications have been identified in professions such as truck drivers, forwarders, logisticians or warehouse workers. Also the commercial sector will seek suitably qualified workers. Salesmen and cashiers will remain in deficit.

Also professions characterized by low employers’ demand have been listed. In the case of economists, the surplus includes in particular staff with secondary education (economist technicians), however, this profession is relatively easy to adapt into other jobs and the graduates of this faculty are readily hired by the employers. Popular faculties include food and nutrition engineering and tourism. It also applies to such professions as: philosophers, historians, political scientists and cultural experts. The oversupply of graduates of these faculties results in excess labour supply and, due to the shortage of job offers, the employment prospects are not encouraging. Professions form the balanced group are characterized by similar numbers of projected offers and job seekers. The balance will apply mostly to such professions as sales managers, sport and recreation instructors, secretaries, assistants, child carers and photographers.

Average gross wage in Wielkopolska in 2016 amounted to PLN 3,984.10 while in Poland it was 4,150.88. Only the City of Poznań District had a larger average salary than the national average, amounting to PLN 4,770.94.

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