Falling below the 5% limit unemployment suggests that in the Polish economy the number of hands ready to take up a job is shrinking dramatically, which usually hampers economic growth. In fact, the reserves among employees are still large, the biggest ones are in the group of economically inactive people .
According to the EU methodology, the unemployment rate for people aged 20-64 after the second quarter of this year. was 4.9 percent. It means that only 830 thousand people were looking for a job. With the rate of decline in the number of unemployed people observed in recent years at the level of 200-250 thousand. annually, it would mean that there would be no more work in the quarters to come, which would negatively affect the entire economy.
The above statistics, however, do not take into account professionally passive people, i.e. people who neither have a job nor seek employment. In the 20-64 age range, it is about 5.7 million people, or 25.3 percent. population aged 20-64. The average percentage of professionally passive people in the European Union is 22%, and in Germany only 17.9%
Already today, our country in some social groups has very good statistics of employment or professional activity, so improving data for a specific age or education can bring benefits greater than the attempt to reach just the average level of the EU. Increase in professional activity by 1 percentage point in the case of Poland, it means increasing the manpower by 230 thousand. people.
Unemployment among Poles with higher education aged 20-64 is 2.6 percent. (148 thousand people), and the percentage of professionally passive people after graduation is 6 percent. among men (155,000) and 15% among women (552 thousand). All these parameters are better than the average in the European Union or in the euro area. The employment rate, on the other hand, 86.8 percent. probably it will be very difficult to raise, because even in Germany, Sweden or the Netherlands it does not exceed 90%.
The situation is completely different among people with education defined by Eurostat as level 3 and 4 (post-secondary, basic vocational, general education). In this group, the unemployment rate has fallen by almost half in the last three years (from 10.2% to 5.7%), and the employment rate has increased by 4.5 percentage points. up to 68 percent (9.8 million).
The percentage of professionally inactive people in Poland with post-secondary, basic vocational and general education is still very high – 27.9%. (about 4 million people – 2.5 million women and 1.5 million men). At least a part of this group can be tried to activate, to at least equalize the result to the EU average – 22 percent.
As unemployment and employment statistics indicate that the economy generates strong demand for employees without higher education, the number of people working in this group of Poles may increase due to the return of economically inactive to the labor market. A drop in the number of economically inactive persons to the average level in the Union would translate into the possibility of employing an additional 800,000 people. employees.
Poland is also characterized by a particularly high percentage – 53.7 percent. with the EU average of 35% – not working and not seeking a paid job among people with lower secondary and less education. It is a relatively small group of 1.8 million people, but a rapid increase in their professional activity may prove problematic due to difficulties in completing qualifications. Fortunately, also in this group, unemployment clearly dropped from 20 to 13 percent. for the last three years. Hence the conclusion that the economy generates sufficient demand for labor, so that the number of economically active people will increase in this group to at least 55%. (average in the EU is 65%), which would mean an additional 200,000 people in the labor force.
Fast falling unemployment and growing employment among people with higher education create excellent conditions for finally reducing the group of professionally passive Poles.
For this process to be successful, there is a need for willingness among all those interested. Entrepreneurs should take into account the fact that employees recovered from the depths of inactivity require longer training than the unemployed. Employees, in turn, probably have to adjust to the fact that it will take them a long time to adapt to new conditions at work. The state policy, which, through tax incentives, will stimulate economically inactive employment, should also become a vocational activation. It is worth investing in it, because in the final analysis the increase in professional activity will pay off to all parties of the project. Employers will receive a million jobs ready for work, the state will receive more tax revenues and paid salaries, which, according to the latest GUS data, grow at the highest pace in many years.