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Better and better employment conditions in Poland translate into low economic mobility. Currently, over 90 percent of Poles are rejected by plans to leave for work, both abroad and to another part of the country. According to the ninth edition of the “Economic Migration of Poles” report prepared by Work Service, the main reason for the lack of interest in domestic relocation is an attractive job in the place of residence. At the same time, more of the respondents would change their minds if they received a monthly salary above the national average.

As shown by the results of the ninth edition of the Work Service survey “Economic Migration of Poles IX”, only 5.2 percent are active and potential participants of the Polish labor market are considering migration to another place in Poland in the next 6 months. Among the remaining respondents, as much as 80 percent are definitely not planning internal migration, and 13.8 percent “Rather” rejects this perspective. Interestingly, respondents declaring the possibility of relocation within the country (5.2%) and emigration abroad (8.6%) are in most cases other people, and acceptance of both directions is almost twice as rare among those planning a foreign trip.

Although the Poles surveyed by Work Service are currently little interested in moving to another town in order to work, higher salaries could change that. As many as 71 percent of the respondents with an incentive to relocate would have a remuneration exceeding PLN 4,000 net. This is about PLN 500 more than the current average wage in the enterprise sector. It is also worth noting that when deciding on internal migration, the greater distance is not a barrier for Poles. Over 55 percent of respondents indicated that they would be able to move for work to a distance exceeding 300 km from their place of residence. The fact that, in the event of domestic relocation, 6 out of 10 Poles would like to move with their families probably plays an important role. It is almost twice as high as in the case of foreign emigration (30.3%).

Paradoxically, the record low unemployment rate and strong demand for employees in the domestic labor market translate into low mobility of Poles inside the country. Every second respondent does not consider looking for a new job in another part of the country, because he already has an attractive job in his current place of residence – says Tomasz Ślęzak, vice president of Work Service. On the one hand, this is good news, because it shows that the low unemployment rate in Poland increases job satisfaction, but on the other hand, it is worse for the economy. Staff shortages are painfully felt in many parts of the country. Without an influx of additional hands, employers have and will have difficulties in taking up new orders or even carrying out current ones – adds Tomasz Ślęzak.

It is also worth noting that in the case of economic emigration, the key barrier for the respondents is separation from the family (65%), and in the case of relocation within the country, this factor is only second (41%). This may be related to, inter alia, however, when deciding to move to another part of Poland, most of the respondents intend to take their family with them. As less important obstacles, the respondents almost equally (9-12%) indicated the costs of renting or purchasing real estate, commuting time, opportunities to find an attractive job, as well as formalities related to relocation and transfer of children from school.


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