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2/3 of Refugees Residing in Poland are Gainfully Employed

CAREERS2/3 of Refugees Residing in Poland are Gainfully Employed

2/3 of refugees residing in Poland are gainfully employed, as shown by the latest report of the National Bank of Poland (NBP) analyzed by the Gremi Personal Analytical Center.

Before the Russian war, 94% of Ukrainian migrants in Poland were employed, and after nearly two years of war, the majority of refugees now work – up to 64%.

In 2023, both Ukrainian refugees and pre-war working migrants received an average salary of PLN 3,000-4,000 net. Nearly half of the refugees (49%) and every fifth respondent (21%) from pre-war migration declared earnings below PLN 3,000.

Salaries of both working migrants and refugees from Ukraine have been systematically increasing since 2019, which is caused by record-low unemployment hovering at around 5% and an increase in the minimum wage. NBP research shows that the average wage of migrants has increased by about 38% in the years 2019-2022 and by 6% in the years 2022-2023. The average net salary received by Ukrainians in Poland is about PLN 3,500.

The majority of refugees are women and children. Women make up a decisive majority of all refugees – 78%, men – 22%. One-third of the refugees are single women without children or a partner (32%). Women with children constitute 26% of all refugees, and 12% are women who stay additionally with other family members.

Despite a proportionally lower number of male refugees from Ukraine, they have a better position in the labor market. Most of them are employed (71% vs. 61%) and only 15% of men are unemployed compared with 27% of women.

This may be due to a higher demand for jobs in professions typically performed by men and the fact that refugee women often have to care for children. – Comments Anna Dzhobolda, Director of International Recruitment at Gremi Personal.

Interestingly, pre-war migrants mainly worked in professions requiring qualifications but not necessarily higher education (welders, turners, electricians, etc.), while refugees can boast of higher education, although the vast majority of them perform simple jobs that do not require qualifications.

The Gremi Personal Analytical Center also examined the education level of the refugees they employ (with 480 respondents participating in the survey). The highest number, or 36%, have technical secondary education. One-third (26%) have full secondary education, 18% have higher education, 8% basic secondary, and 6% incomplete higher education. 3% have a scientific degree, and 1.5% have technical higher education and incomplete secondary.

Salaries of Ukrainian refugees in Poland depend mostly on the increase in the minimum wage in the Polish economy and are rarely related to the education obtained in Ukraine, regardless of its level. However, if highly qualified Ukrainians are proficient in Polish, they can compete with Poles for job vacancies. – adds Anna Dzhobolda.

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