Increasing number of Poles opting to stay in Poland
With domestic unemployment at record lows, Polish workers are increasingly opting to stay at home, new research has found.
In a study released by Work Service SA, 76 per cent of Poles said that they had completely ruled out emigrating for work, compared to 50 per cent only four years ago.
A job market which favours employees, as well as markedly improved employment conditions, are thought to be the main reasons for the change.
Every second company in Poland has reported difficulty in finding adequate staff, with the influx of 1.5-2.5 million Ukranian workers failing to bridge the gap in demand.
The construction industry alone needs 100,000 extra workers, and the Polish government has indicated that it may need to review its stance on migration.
One advantage of emigration for Polish workers, however, remains the pay gap between Poland and other EU countries. Poland's wages are the third-lowest in the entire bloc, with workers earning up to 20 EUR less an hour than their EU counterparts.
The effects of the stall in Polish emigration are, nevertheless, now being felt keenly in countries like the UK and Germany, which have traditionally relied on cheap labour coming in from the East.
The UK, in particular, has experienced a record drop in foreign workers in the last year, with the Brexit vote further exacerbating the situation.
Altogether, 2.6 million Poles have left Poland in pursuit of a better life since the country joined the European Union in 2004.