More than nine out of ten foreign workers do not regret their decision to come or stay in our country, although they are considering other directions of migration more and more often.
According to the study of the employment agency EWL made available to Rzeczpospolita, half of the workers from the East who stayed in Poland at the time of the pandemic outbreak decided to stay in our country and the number of foreigners arriving here for the first time is growing. The study, which in the spring of this year involved 620 economic migrants from the East, mainly from Ukraine and Belarus, confirms that the pandemic has not reduced the attractiveness of Poland in the eyes of workers from the East.
The main reason for their arrival, given by more than half of the respondents, are higher earnings than in their home country. But every third migrant also points to the bad political and economic situation in their home country, where every fourth of them could not find a job.
Not surprisingly, 37 percent of those who left for home during the pandemic later returned to Poland. Those who stayed were helped by the ‘anti-crisis shield’, which introduced automatic extensions of stay and work for foreigners surprised by the pandemic outbreak. As many as 44 percent of the migrants in the EWL study came to us for the first time during the pandemic. ‘Workers from the East entered Poland when there was a demand for foreign workers and left when the work ended’, comments Andrzej Korkus, CEO of the EWL Group.
This is confirmed by statistics from the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) and the Office for Foreigners (UDSC). After a sharp decline in the number of foreigners insured with ZUS in the spring of 2020 (up to 605,000), the number began to grow again in the summer and in April 2021 there were already 780,500 foreigners in ZUS records – the highest number ever and 29 percent more than a year earlier. A similar trend is shown by UDSC data – at the beginning of April, 478.5 thousand foreigners had valid residence permits in Poland, one-tenth more than a year before. (…)
Despite an increase in unemployment among foreign workers, our market has not been “flooded” by foreigners. This shows that liberal regulations on economic migration do not lead to an uncontrolled increase in the number of immigrants from countries with a much higher unemployment rate than Poland– emphasises Andrzej Korkus.
(…) Michał Wierzchowski, sales director at the EWL Group, says that although some companies have not returned to their full capacity yet, the demand for workers from the East is constantly growing. This is particularly visible in sectors that have already seen significant increases during the pandemic: logistics, food and electronic industries, and recently also in the HoReCa sector (hotel and catering), which after the relaxation of restrictions is looking for workers ready to take up work immediately.
If we avoid a fourth wave of the pandemic, we can expect record-breaking demand for workers, also foreign ones, in Q3 and Q4 2021 when factories begin to operate at 100%– believes Wierzchowski.
The growing demand for employees, visible all over Europe, means greater competition for them. Andrzej Korkus reminds us that the governments of further countries are considering a gradual opening of borders for economic migrants from Eastern Europe. (…)
Full report of the study can be downloaded here.