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The labour market: Poles still in the lead across Europe

19 October 2017, Warsaw. Polish candidates look to the future with growing optimism, according to a Confidence Index survey covering the third quarter of 2017 conducted by Michael Page, a recruitment agency. As many as 61% of the respondents have anticipated a clear improvement of their professional status, and the general situation in the labour market within the nearest months. This places Poland fifth across Europe as far as the level of optimism is concerned, preceded only by Germany (69%), Sweden (64%), Britain (63%), and Austria (62%).

Poland is still in the lead among European countries

The survey results point to the ongoing improvement in mood among the majority of European countries, which currently stands at 55% against the past quarters: Q1 – 52%, and Q2 – 54%. Interestingly, a lower level of positive thinking than the one expressed by Poles has been noted with candidates from the southern countries of the Old Continent: in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, the index stood at 36%, 46%, and  49%, respectively, which proved a minor rise when compared with the results from the previous quarter. Admittedly, the Michael Page survey shows a discernible rift between Europe’s optimistic north, and its pessimistic south.

It needs  to be made clear that the index for Poland is also on the increase on a quarterly basis: Q1 –  58% versus Q2 – 60%, and when compared with the identical period from last year, it has gone up by 5%. Also, the current level of optimism among Poles is higher by 6% than the European average. When it comes to individual groups, the majority of people with a positive mindset in Poland can be found among respondents under 30 (66%), followed by people aged 30–49 (61%). The group that turned out to be least optimistic is made up of people aged over 49 (54%).

“What reaffirms the data gathered by the Confidence Index survey on positive attitudes in the Polish labour market is the low unemployment rate, which in September dropped to yet another record low. According to the data provided by the Ministry of the Family, Labour, and Social Policy, it stood at merely 6%. Such a low unemployment rate, and the consecutive enhancement of the employees’ labour market, means that employers will have to face up to a number of major challenges, such as e.g. talent acquisition,  building involvement, or employee retention,” admits Piotr Dziedzic, director at Michael Page, and member of the management board at Polish HR Forum.

…and Poles keep hoping for a pay rise

The positive signals coming from the labour market also translate into employees’ expectations as regards prospective pay improvements. As many as 54% of the surveyed have expressed some hope  for a pay rise within the forthcoming 12 months.  For comparison’s sake, in the second quarter of this year, this index stood at 52%, which once again places Poland in the lead of European countries, alongside Germany (58%), and Turkey (54%), right ahead of Sweden (53%). The lowest rates of optimism, in turn, were noted in Italy (38%), and Holland (37.6%).