Poland’s economy appears to be going strong, with unemployment tremendously low, but at the same time, inflation remains a major headwind.
According to data released for the end of June 2022, the number of Poles registered as unemployed had fallen to 4.9 percent in June from 5.1 percent in May, the lowest unemployment figure in 32 years. Poland had 819,700 people out of work, down 30,500 from May and over 173,000 fewer than at this time last year.
Commenting on the new figures, Labor Minister Marlena Malag said, “Today, we have over 100,000 fewer unemployed than before the pandemic in February 2020, and the unemployment rate has fallen by 0.6 percent over that period.”
According to the Ministry of Labor, the lowest unemployment was in the Wielkopolska province in the west of Poland with 2.7 percent, and the highest was in the northeastern Warminsko-Mazurskie province at 7.6 percent.
“We have not had such a good situation in the labor market for over three decades. The last time we had such a low rate of unemployment was 32 years ago. In August 1990, the rate was 4.5 percent,” said Maląg.
Official Eurostat data shows Poland as having one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the EU. According to its methodology for calculating unemployment numbers, Poland had a 2.7 percent unemployment rate in May, whereas the average was 6.1 percent in the EU as a whole and 6.6 percent in the eurozone. The only country with a lower unemployment rate according to Eurostat was Czechia at 2.5 percent.
However, the news is not all rosy, as inflation figures loom large. Inflation stood at15.6 percent for June, according to Poland’s Central Office of Statistics (GUS). Food prices rose by 14.1 percent, energy prices by 35.3 percent, and fuel prices a massive 46.7 percent.
Poland now faces the highest inflation rate since 1997 when it stood at 16.6 percent.