Poland enjoys slowest unemployment rise in EU - expert

Poland not only had the lowest unemployment rate in the EU in February, but the country also registered the smallest increase in unemployment compared to the previous year, an economic expert has said in reference to the latest Eurostat data.

The EU's statistical office reported on Tuesday that Poland's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.1 percent in February 2021, unchanged from the previous month.

Andrzej Kubisiak, deputy head of the Polish Economic Institute, an expert agency providing advisory services to the government, told PAP that "Poland not only has the lowest level of unemployment in the EU, but also the slowest annual increase in unemployment among EU member states, at 0.1 percentage points."

Spain, Estonia and Latvia fared worst, with unemployment rates rising by more than 2 percentage points over the year, Kubisiak observed.

Poland was followed by the Czech Republic with employment at 3.2 percent and the Netherlands with 3.6 percent.

Spain's total unemployment reached 16.1 percent in February, the worst result in the EU. Greece, with 15.8 percent, came second and Italy was third with 10.2 percent.

"Eurostat's reading is a confirmation of the unemployment trend in Poland," Kubisiak said.

Poland's good performance is a result of the its economic structure, according to Kubisiak. "In countries where unemployment is the highest, particularly in southern Europe, the share of tourism in employment and GDP is high," he said.

In Poland, the tourism and hospitality sectors employ relatively small numbers of people, while industry remains the biggest employer, Kubisiak said.

Additionally, Poland entered the coronavirus crisis with a record low unemployment rate and a large number of vacant jobs.

However, a reason for concern is an increase in unemployment among young people, Kubisiak added.