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Economic Immigration to Poland in the Context of the Transformation Process

by Sylwia Seweryn

This paper was written in 2007.

Poland, as other countries of the Central-Eastern Europe, has been perceived for decades as a country producing both political and economic immigrants. Since 1989, the beginning of the process of political and economic transformation, the role of Poland in the migratory movements has been gradually changing; from sending, to transit and, eventually, destination country. This refers both to persons arriving in Poland for economic purposes, as well as individuals enjoying international protection.

Despite high unemployment, there unquestionably exists the demand for foreign labour force in Poland. This state of affairs is the effect of changes, which took place during the transformation process. These included: changes in the share of employment in particular sectors of economy, increase in productivity, changes in structure of economic entities, lack of adaptation of qualifications of the Polish labour force to the needs of the new labour market, as well as social changes happening within households, connected with an increased professional activity of women. 
The paper, devoted to the issue of economic immigration to Poland, presents changes in Poland, which determine the demand for the work of foreigners. An attempt has been also made at defining main trends in the field of legal employment of foreigners in Poland, such as main countries of their origin, sectors of employment or performed functions. It also briefly demonstrates research findings concerning illegal employment of foreigners in Polish households.

Paper's framework

  • Introduction
  • Reasons for the demand for foreign labour force in Poland
  • Employment of foreigners in Poland
  • Legal employment of foreigners
  • Illegal employment of foreigners
  • Conclusion

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