The unemployment rate in July was 11,9%, which is 1% lower than it was a year ago. The experts say the decrease is still not significant. Due to temporary work during holiday season, the unemployment rate is always lower on holidays. What could influence the situation is lowering labor costs. It would allow for increasing employment in small enterprises and stopping the emigration. Currently, 2 mln Poles work abroad.

According to Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, as well as Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS), the unemployment rate is decreasing. July's 11,9% is the best rate since June 2011 (11,8%). A year ago the rate was 13%. Still, the experts say there's no need for optimism yet.

- We need to remember that in Poland there is always a two-figure unemployment rate. 1% change can be consoling for the politicians, but it's not a real sign of positive changes in the country - says Andrzej Sadowski, expert from Adam Smith's Centre, in an interview with Newseria Biznes.

According to Sadowski, lowering labor costs would help. Labor costs are currently very high - the income tax and Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) contributions reach almost 70% of net salary. It means that for every 1 000 PLN that an employee gets, the employer has to pay extra 700 PLN. As Sadowski says, the unemployment in Poland does not equal bad economic situation, but simply means that labor costs are too high. The problem is common especially among small enterprises.

- A small enterprise develops mostly through engaging new employees but the employment is often unofficial due to high ZUS contributions and taxes. At the end of the day, it's either illegal employment, or emigration. - says Sadowski.

The unemployment reaches mostly young people. According to GUS, among people aged 15-24 the unemployment rate was 27,2% in the first quarter of the year. Among people aged 25-34, the rate is 11%.

Increase of employment in those age groups is significant mostly due to raising emigration. Nearly 2 mln people have left Poland. In 2013 over 35 000 Poles left abroad, yet some sources say the number was 0,5 mln.

Lowering labor taxes could help, says Sadowski. In 2007 one of the contributions was lowered by 7% and it helped creating new workplaces and decreased illegal employment. Still, the government do not agree to lowering the taxes and contributions from 51,9% to 25,47%.




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