Gdansk has been currently experiencing a great time for its economy and labor market. The number of employed persons in the Pomorskie region grew by more than 40% between 2006 and 2016. It is an unprecedented growth in the EU and a proof of our rapid economic development. The city of Gdansk and the whole region becomes one of the most interesting places in Europe for investment.
For years labor market has been a sore spot of European economy. High rates of unemployment, precarious conditions and stagnation have been unfortunately its distinctive features in many countries. Also Poland suffered high rates of unemployment in the beginning of the transformation towards a free market economy in the 90s.
Now Poland, the Pomorskie region and Gdansk are experiencing the time of dynamic growth. Eurostat has already reported that the total number of employees in our region grew from 679,000 in 2006 to 971,500 in 2015, which is more than 40% growth in just 10 years (Employment by sex, age and NUTS 2 regions)! The whole EU, 28 countries, on average, noticed almost no growth (213m in 2006 vs. 215,6m in 2015), the same like the Euro-zone (169,9m vs. 171,3m).
There are not many European regions getting close to the numbers of the Pomorskie. Scottish region of Highlands and Islands and Luxembourg noticed growth of 30% each. Poland's Mazowieckie region with the capital city of Warsaw grew by about 28%.
The numbers confirm what we see daily in Gdansk: new construction sites, new investments announced and a lot of people relocating to Gdansk for better career opportunities. As a first-choice city for business (among others, ICT, financial services, shipbuilding, logistics), Gdansk boasts its great location at the Baltic sea coast, skilled labor and talented graduates. Students and employees are attracted not only by a great labor market, but also by conditions of living here.
As the mayor of the biggest city in the region, I have always struggled for improving our economy and labor market. Building trust and cooperation with city's stakeholders has always been my goal. Creating friendly environment for investment, policies and strategies supporting labor market based on knowledge, effective use of the EU funds and open approach were tools we used for developing local economy.
It was a long way from the troubled economy of the 90s. to the current days of flourishing labor market in Gdansk and the Pomorskie. We had to take many hard decisions, but Eurostat data proves we chose a right direction.