Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Ukrainian Migrants

Poland is one of the fastest-aging and lowest-fertility nations in Europe. National Bank of Poland Governor Adam Glapinski has already warned that the country is facing a deficit of workers. Poland needs an additional 5 million workers within the next 20 years to keep up economic growth, according to the Polish Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers.

Not even a million Ukrainians who’ve come to Poland since an insurgency erupted in their country three years ago have been enough to fill the gap in the labor market of record-low unemployment.  The number of Ukrainians absorbed by Poland is comparable to the total of migrants that came to Germany -- a country about double the size -- in 2015-2016, according to official estimates. 

Although the number of Ukrainian workers in Poland already topped a record 1.3 million last year, almost half of employers sought out Ukrainians because no local hires were available, according to a survey of 300 companies in January. Almost 40 percent of firms in sales and services rely on Ukrainians, said Work Service SA, a recruiting and human resources company in Warsaw that conducted the study.

“Poland is just about to set in motion major investment projects and needs to speed up work on their completion,” said Maciej Witucki, head of Work Service. “Without workers from Ukraine, the risk that companies will miss their plans becomes more and more realistic.”

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