Free Movement of Workers and Labour Market Adjustment

Recent Experiences from OECD Countries and the European Union

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This publication presents recent evidence and analytical work on the impact and future perpectives of demographic trends in the workforce, taking also into account education, skills and geographical mobility. It pays particular attention to the labour mobility patterns generated by the development of free mobility in Europe and simlar developments in other parts of the world.


Labour market impacts of post-accession migration from Poland

The period following Poland’s accession to the European Union saw significant changes in the migration patterns of the country’s population. There was an unprecedented increase in scale: in just three years the number of Polish citizens staying temporarily abroad rose from 1 million to over 2.3 million, or 6.6% of the total population. Migration dynamics changed as well, including choice of destination and migrants’ skills. Theoretically, such a massive supply shock should lead to severe adjustments on the sending labour market. Available empirical evidence, however, indicates that there were no significant effects in either the short term (employment/unemployment) or the medium term (wages). This chapter argues that the labour market situation in Poland was only moderately affected by the recent outflow. Nevertheless, serious long-term impacts may be in store, particularly in terms of demographic structures and regional allocation of labour on the domestic market.


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