Polish employment falls less than expected in July

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The number of people employed in Poland fell less than expected in July, a further positive signal for the European Union’s largest eastern member as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent data, including for second-quarter growth, suggest that lockdown measures have taken a less severe toll on the Polish economy than in many other European countries and that recovery may not take as long as initially feared.

Corporate employment fell by 2.3% year-on-year to 6.252 million people in July, the statistics office said on Wednesday. Analysts had expected a year-on-year fall of 3.1%. In monthly terms, corporate employment rose by 1.1%.

“It … confirms that in the phase of coming out of the restrictions, the reduction in the number of jobs is smaller,” said Piotr Bielski, director of the economic analysis department at Santander Bank Polska.

“Employees just go back to work where they can because economic activity is picking up too.”

Polish corporate sector wages rose by an annual 3.8% in July to an average of 5,382 zlotys ($1,467.60) per month, above analysts’ expectations of 2.9%, the statistics office data showed.

In monthly terms, wages rose by 1.8%.

Bielski said the growth in wages could be because companies are not reducing working hours or variable wage components as much as in the early stages of the pandemic, and that if jobs are cut, lower paid ones tend to go first.

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