Society and labour market
The population of Wielkopolska is nearly 3.5 million (according to data from 2014 - 3 472 579); with regard to the number of people the region is third in Poland behind the Mazowsze and Śląsk Regions. Inhabitants of the Wielkopolska Region are dominated by women (51.3%) and urban citizens (55.1%). The population density reaches the level of 116 people / km2 and is lower than the national average (123 people / km2). The region is characterized by the occurrence of the lowest rates of population density in the districts of the northern and western parts of the region.
Slight increase in the number of people living in villages with simultaneous decline of the number of citizens are noticeable within the population structure. Such a tendency may arise from an on-going process of depopulation of city centres and development of suburban zones, in particular around the Poznań Agglomeration. In view of low fertility on the one hand, and increasing ageing on the other hand also the structure of population in terms of age will also change. There is a rising number of people at retirement age and a decrease in those at pre-working age.
Based on demographic forecasts in 2012-2021 the population structure in Wielkopolska will fluctuate. This will be noticeable in increasing and decreasing number of people according to age groups:
- by 2012 a number of people aged 0-5 accounted for 7% of the total number of inhabitants, in 2021 this figure will most likely fall to 6.4%;
- decline, but smaller, will also occur among people at the age of 6-64 – in 2012 this group accounted for 80.7% of the total population,in 2021 will fall to 76.6%;
- steady increase in the number of people at the age of 65 and more – in 2012 their share came to 12.2%, in 2021 this group will account for 17%.
Ageing processes in population will influence the region's old-age dependency, which shall require changes in labour market, in education and health systems as well as in social welfare.
The Wielkopolska Region is one of the most dynamically evolving regions in Poland. Large production potential, developed sector of services, high agricultural productivity, high level of entrepreneurship are only some of the factors of the region's economic growth. Owing to the potential of the region, Wielkopolska is attractive to Polish and foreign investors.
For several years the Wielkopolska Region has been recording the lowest registered unemployment rate which came up to 6.2% in December 2015. (9.8% is the national average). Simultaneously, the region is highly diverse in terms of the unemployment scale in particular counties, from 2.6% in the Poznań County to 13.5% in Konin County.
Compared with the whole country people living in the Wielkopolska Region are more active in the labour market. The labour activity rate in 2014 for the residents of the region was 75.1% (in the rest of the country: 74.3%), and employment rate in this group was 69.2% (in the rest of the country: 67.5%).
In recent years a slight, but systematic increase in the number of the employed has been observed in the Wielkopolska Region. In 2014 this group comprised over 1 million 412 thousand people. Most people are employed in services (53.9%), nearly every third inhabitant of Wielkopolska (30.9%) is a staff member of the industry and construction sector, whereas the smallest group consists of workers from the agriculture and forestry sector (15.2%).
In 2015 in labour offices in Wielkopolska the largest number of job offers was addressed to representatives of the following professions: shop assistant, household worker, warehouse staff, truck driver, manual packer, assisting staff in general construction, office technician, warehouse staff, locksmith, physical security employee, welder, cataloguer, truck-tractor driver, machine seamstress, bricklayer, client advisor, cabinet-maker, sales representative, cook. According to the short-term forecast, formulated on the basis of the study "Barometer of professions" in 2016 in most counties in Wielkopolska Region the shortage of following employees will be seen: cook, car mechanic, car painter, tailor and clothing production employee. There will be also demand for the experts in the building industry - concreters and steel fixers, carpenters and building cabinet-makers, plasterers, floor layers, building construction installers, computer graphic designers, programmers and administrators of websites, mechanical engineers, guardians for the elderly or disabled, nurses, sales representatives, independent accountants, specialists in automation and robotics. Due to the development of the transport-forwarding-logistics branch, characteristic of the Wielkopolska Region, a strong demand for drivers, warehousemen, freight forwarders and logistics employees is forecasted.
The average gross remuneration in Wielkopolska in 2014 amounted to PLN 3 597.6 and was lower than the average remuneration compared with the rest of the country by 10%. Only in the Poznań City county does the average remuneration exceed the national average and amounted to PLN 4 354.40.
An increasing number of non-public institutions offering services within the scope employment exchange is noticeable in the labour market. In the Wielkopolska Region there is dynamic growth in the number of employment agencies and staff members employed by the agencies. The Wielkopolska Region is second after the Mazowsze Region in Poland in terms of the number of employment agencies.
Temporary employees from Wielkopolska most frequently take up jobs as warehouse workers and related staff, fitters, simple work staff, packers, operators of machines for the production of plastics and operators of industrial trucks. In addition, employment agencies send workers to foreign employers. The Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and France are the main migration directions of Wielkopolska inhabitants for job.