The number of occupied posts is likely to increase also in construction
In March 2011, the registered unemployment resumed dropping – albeit by 0.1 percentage points – reaching 14.4% of the economically active population by the end of the month. Year-on-year, the signs of recovery in the job market are in plain view – the unemployment rate is going down and the number of vacancies is up. In the registers of the State Employment Agency (NVA) there were 2.6 thousand vacancies at the end of March – their increase compared to the winter months was determined by the resumption of seasonal jobs and, compared to last spring, - greater demand for workforce as a result of fundamental factors (economic recovery).
Surveys of business conditions indicate that the balance of entrepreneur responses regarding the expected changes in the number of employees in the coming months ("+" if the number of employees is expected to be increased; "-" if it is to be reduced; "0" if no changes planned) turned positive, with the turning point at the end of 2010 / beginning of 2011. Uncertainty could remain only in regard to developments in construction, for now it is not clear yet whether the rapid improvement in entrepreneurs' mood in March of 2011 might not be a unique occurrence. According to the data of the workforce survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CSP) (includes both registered and unregistered unemployed) the number of employed in construction grew sustainably as early as the second half of 2010 (even adjusting for unregistered emigration that could push the employment statistics up). The entrepreneur survey, on the other hand (includes only registered employed) still points to a drop in the number of employed in this industry. The rise in employment in construction in the second half of 2010 thus could happen on the account of illegal employment as indirectly evidenced both by the State Work Inspection, which, despite reduced capacity, in 2010 discovered more unregistered employed than a year ago, and by the fact that the retail volumes of furniture, lighting devices and other kinds of household goods grew at the end of 2010 (year-on-year; in base prices) – at the time when the survey of construction enterprises still registered a drop in employment. Moreover, stabilization of construction volumes in the second half of 2010 (seasonally adjusted data) likewise point to a possible rise in employment in construction ().
An increase in employment in construction could limit the problem of structural unemployment. It is this industry that was most affected by the crisis period layoffs (particularly the illegal employment sector), and its future prospects were also assessed with caution under the conditions of limited domestic demand and frozen real estate prices. The stabilization of construction volumes in the second half of 2010, however, could point to an increase in the number of employed in the future; moreover, the positive business conditions data (selection includes legally functioning enterprises) may be an indication that it is the number of registered employed that is likely to grow in construction, which will serve to limit the gray employment sector (which, after a downward trend of several years probably grew slightly at the end of 2010).