Polish Labour Market Compared with other EU Member States
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The study primarily intends to show major tendencies occurring in the Polish labour market, as well as their determinants, vis-à-vis EU labour markets. Particularly interesting are tendencies that characterise economic activity, unemployment, employment and the sectoral structure of employment. Both the number of economically active persons and the economic activity rate were falling in Poland in the transition period, even though the tendency was not very distinct. It caused, however, that today’s economic activity rate in Poland is one of the lowest among EU countries. In the transition years, the number of employed persons varied significantly; downward tendencies in years 1992-1995 and 1998-2004 alternated with growth tendencies between 1995 and 1998 and after 2004. Comparisons of Polish employment rates with indicators describing other EU countries show that the former are very low. In the transition years, numbers of unemployed persons showed relatively strong variations. In years 1990-1993 and 1998-2003 unemployment was spreading, while between 1994 and 1997 and after 2004 it was falling. Analyses allow us to conclude that the dynamics of economic growth is important for the evolution of the size of employment and unemployment in the Polish economy, and indirectly also for the course of economic activity. Labour market institutions are important for shaping economic activity, employment, and unemployment. Their modification or deeper restructuring can entail advantageous changes in key labour market indicators.