The purpose of this report is to examine Poland's spatial unemployment problem at the NUTS 4 level of disaggregation; that is, at the level of the powiat. It is also the intention to extend the study beyond just the unemployment rate to embrace other facets of the unemployment problem, as this is more widely understood. In particular, concern is often expressed about the composition of prevailing stocks of unemployment and of course about the significance of long-term unemployment. In the case of the transition economies, some unemployment was always expected to emerge; indeed, it was seen by some to be a welcome sign that restructuring was underway. Nonetheless, it was also recognised that this near pre-requisite for economic modernisation must not force workers into prolonged periods of idleness, if the twin risks of social upheaval and wasted human capital were not to become issues of concern. In view of these considerations, this paper will analyse data on the overall unemployment rate, female unemployment, youth unemployment and long-term unemployment at the level of the powiat.
After an introduction, the next section outlines briefly the basic administrative structure of Poland, placing the powiats in comparative, historical and statistical context. This is followed by a precise specification of the unemployment variables to be analysed and a statistical description of their properties. After that, there is a discussion of the more usual theoretical approaches to the explanation of spatial unemployment differences. The basic empirical model to be analysed as a source of explanation for the observations on unemployment occupies the next section. Next, the results obtained from undertaking a regression analysis of the chosen model are presented and some interpretations placed upon them. This is followed by an examination of the spatial implications of the findings. A concluding section completes the paper.
Working Paper No. 3, 36 pp.