I have noticed that in Poland the rate of registered unemployed is higher than the "unemployement" rate. Here are the stats from the Polish regime (by month): enter image description here

Source: https://stat.gov.pl/en/topics/labour-market/registered-unemployment/registered-unemployed-persons-and-unemployment-rate-adjusted-seasonally-in-2011-2021,4,1.html

On the otherhand we have Eurostat, which is as far as I know, using ILO definition Here: enter image description here


So any ideas what the story is? Is it possible to sign on in Poland and still work? Is there a way of answering the ILO that means you are in employment but still registered unemployed? (Not worked in reference period and ready to work at short notice and have looked for a job during the reference period - if I remember correctly!) There's massive scale cheating of the Polish benefits system? The Polish goverment has made a huge mistake in their statistics?

Other countries that I have looked at tend to have registered unemployed as less than ILO unemployed. Which makes more sense to me.

Any thoughts and input would be most gratefully received.


1 Answer 1


The are few reasons that we might be observing differences in the reported values. This is one of few reasons that I was able to spot, but I believe there are many more

  1. In the data from Polish Statistics Officce(GUS) they define

Unemployed person

Person aged 18 and more and has not reached the retirement age, is not employed and not performing any other kind of paid work, capable of work and ready to take full-time employment (or in case he/she is a disabled person— capable and ready to take work comprising no less than a half of working time)

While in the Eurostat, there are some filter that you need to choose such as sex, age. Default age in your selection is 15-74. Here we have 2 issues, the starting age and ending age will not be the same. In addition, the retirement age for Male and Female are different in Poland and it does not seem like the Eurostat data is controlling for that.

I would recommend reading the detailed exploratory data from Eurostat and Polish Statistical Office for more details on methodology.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks Macosso The table from the Polish gvt states that registered unemployed are: "The percentage of registered unemployed persons to the economically active civilian population." But with no specific age definitions. I suppose I can assume that registered unemployed are also all those >18 and <Polish retirement age If the Polish retirement age is less than 74, then I would expect registered numbers should be lower than the Eurostat 15-74 numbers, since it is a smaller population. $\endgroup$
    – Studi
    Nov 26, 2021 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that is correct. I am happy my answer was helpful $\endgroup$
    – Macosso
    Nov 28, 2021 at 7:53

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