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The unemployment rate is the ratio of the number of unemployed people to the number of economically active people in a population. We can calculate how high unemployment is in two ways, depending on who we consider to be unemployed. Most often we use the number of people registered as unemployed – because it is the easiest to calculate. However, according to the International Labour Organization a person can be considered unemployed if they are at the same time :

  • is at least 15 years old;
  • is not currently employed (does not provide work as defined by the ILO) or is not undergoing an apprenticeship with elements of practical training;
  • was actively looking for a job during the week of the survey or during the 6 weeks preceding the survey;
  • is able to take up a job in the survey week or in the following week and is willing to do so.

Unemployment in Poland

Unemployment this winter surprised economists
In the current situation of a global pandemic, economists assumed a huge increase in unemployment. However, this did not happen and the unemployment rate in Poland is still relatively low.

Despite the global crisis, the unemployment rate in Poland has risen by only 0.6 percentage points since February. Although the government’s anti-crisis shield stopped layoffs, people were actually out of work. Nearly 700,000 workers could not work because their factories were closed. The number of economically inactive people also increased significantly. More than 200,000 retired and as many as 42,000 decided to stay only with household duties.

The CSO data also show that significantly more employees took sick leave this year. This is not only due to the incidence of COVID-19, which in the second quarter of this year was estimated at about 32 thousand. More than 50 thousand additional sicknesses are employees who may have felt sick due to fear of dismissal. The group of employees still includes those whose jobs were reduced.

Compared to the previous year, the greatest increase in unemployment has affected the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province, which currently has the highest level of unemployment. In the second quarter of this year, only 53.5 percent of people over the age of 15 were working there.

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