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Subject and purpose of work: This paper deals with the issues of occupational activation of economically inactive persons. Its objective is to provide the reader with an outline of labour market problems and the situation of the economically inactive population*. Persons who qualify neither as employed or as unemployed potentially constitute an untapped labour potential. The focus in this paper is on economically inactive persons and the reasons they do not seek employment, in order to better understand, first, the causes behind such a low occupational activity and, second, the possible remedial measures. In view of the urgent need for reintegrating persons outside the labour force with the labour market, it appears of utmost importance to identify the reasons for their situation. The fact that nearly 5.02 million working-age Poles remain economically inactive (accounting for nearly 22.0% of the whole working-age population) indicates how huge their potential may be. Special attention will be paid to groups of potential workers who have barely marked their presence on the labour market. One such group is formed by over 2.35 million individuals who are outside the labour market for reasons unrelated to health or retirement age. Materials and methods: The analysis is based on the annual and quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS) data provided by Statistics Poland, and data originating from the Local Data Bank. To facilitate a wider discussion, the statistical data presented in the article cover a multi-annual perspective. This information is supplemented with research results obtained by other authors. Use is made of different methods of data analysis, including a descriptive analysis – to determine the underlying figures regarding the number of economically inactive persons; a dynamics analysis – to identify changes that occurred in 2006-2019 in the figures determined in the descriptive analysis; and a comparative analysis – to assess trends regarding economically inactive persons by comparing selected data with those that have been recently recorded in other EU countries. Results: The scale of economic inactivity in 2016-2019 is assessed on the basis of statistical data presented in tables and figures regarding economically inactive persons by the most common reason for inactivity. The analytical part of this paper features thematic blocks/detailed analyses of the demographic situation, the level and breakdown of economically inactive persons, and changes in their numbers that have taken place in recent years. Conclusions: The constantly declining working-age population, coupled with the low level of occupational activity in some age groups, should encourage decision-makers to design adequate labour market policies/programmes to support the occupational activity of Poles. Labour supply improvements should be sought mainly through the occupational activation of economically inactive persons and through extending the period of occupational activity. * In line with the definition provided by Statistics Poland, and the methodology of the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS), economically inactive persons are defined as persons aged 15 or more, who in the reference week: – did not work, did not have a job and were not job-seekers, – did not work and were job-seekers, but were not available (ready) to start work within two weeks after the reference week, – did not work and were not job-seekers because they had found a job and were waiting to start it within the period: - longer than three months, - up to 3 months, but were not available for this job.


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