The Czech Republic is becoming more reliant on foreign workers, seeing their share grow to 12.4 percent in 2018 and exceed 13 percent in mid-2019, Czech Statistical Office (CSU) data shows.
In 2010, foreign workers constituted only 6 percent of the Czech workforce.
The foreign workforce in the Czech Republic is mostly made up of workers from non-EU countries who strive for permanent residency in the country.
Currently, the share of permanent residents is significantly higher than the number of temporary ones, as about 60 percent of foreign workers have permanent residence in the Czech Republic. Many of them also start a family in the country.
On the other hand, most of the workers from EU countries eventually return to their homeland.
“Every 18th Czech citizen has citizenship other than a Czech one,” says Jarmila Marešová from the CSU, adding that this number naturally does not include people who stay in the Czech Republic illegally.
According to Marešová, it is very difficult to estimate the number of illegal residents. At the end of 2018, however, the official estimate was about 567,000 people.
“The Czech Republic is something like Switzerland of Eastern Europe,” says Dalibor Holý, director of the CSU Labor Market and Equal Opportunities Department, pointing out that foreigners mostly look for a job in the Czech Republic for chance to earn a higher salary, as earnings in the country can be up to three times higher.
However, the Czech Republic does not only attract cheap labor but also specialists. Some of them are from Slovakia and Romania, and their average salary exceeds 40,000 korunas (€1,590), which is a salary above the Czech average.
“Demographically, foreigners are usually younger people,” continues Marešová.
More often, men, rather than women, come to the Czech Republic. They are usually 35 to 39 years of age. This fact correlates with the type of job offers on the Czech labor market.
“Most foreigners are employed in the manufacturing industry,” says Marešová. In total, almost 30 percent of them work in this industry. On the other hand, the least foreigners are employed in public administration sectors.
Most foreigners who are registered at the Czech Labor Office, and therefore look for a job in the Czech Republic, come from Slovakia. There are 129,000 of them in the Czech Republic, constituting a third of the total amount of foreign workers looking for a job. The second place in this statistics belongs to Ukrainians (21 percent), with Poles and Bulgarians placing third (8 percent).