Poles’ incomes are growing

Central Statistical Office released a report called “Poland in Figures” presenting the most up-to-date data on the Polish economy. The document presents information on several socio-economic areas, such as the labour market, prices, environment, culture or finances. The document gives an insight into the lives of Mr Kowalski, at least from the statistical point of view.

Poland currently has a population of over 38.4 million people, but the demographic trends indicate this number is on the decline, as life expectancy is growing and the number of births is falling. The changing demographic structure poses a challenge to the state, and so are emigration trends. A lot of Poles are deciding to leave the country permanently.

In 2015, 56.2% of the population was active on the labour market. The prospects for job seekers are positive, as the unemployment rate stays on reasonable levels. Currently, the unemployment rate is Poland is 7.5%. Most Poles (58%) are employed in the services sector.

However, there is a group who still struggle on the job market. Among young people, between the age of 15 and 24, unemployment is at the rate of over 20%. What is also worrying is the growth in the number of the long-term unemployed (people out of work for more than 13 months). They comprise 32% of the unemployed, while in 2010 the number was 25.2%.

Average wages and salaries, both nominal and real, have been steadily growing since 2011. On average, a Pole is earning 3,899.78 PLN a month (gross). What is also increasing, is the disposable income per person in a household. In other words, Mr and Mrs Kowalski have more money to spend on whatever they want.

The biggest part of income in Poland is spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Number two on the list of expenses are housing costs (including water, electricity, etc.). On the other end of the list there is education. An average Pole spends 1% of their income on learning. Still, 2.5% of income, according to statistics, is spent on tobacco and alcohol.

15.5% of Poles earn less than 50% of the average household expenditures, 12.2% of them is entitled to state aid due to low income (legal definition of poverty), and 6.5% of people live below the subsistence minimum, which means they are not able to cover their basic needs by themselves. As compared with 2010, the number of people in poverty increased.