(Bloomberg) --

Poland’s economy may lose some steam as Ukrainians, a key labor group that helped ease labor shortages in the European Union’s largest eastern economy, have less interest to stay.

While official data from employment offices show a 20% annual increase in the number of Ukrainians asking for a registration in Poland, in reality fewer and fewer end up working there and opt to do so in Germany where wages are higher, according to Personnel Service, a recruitment agency. 

The agency estimates that the number of Ukrainians living in post-pandemic Poland dropped below 1 million for the first time in years. In September, the number of Polish job offers targeted at Ukrainians twice exceeded the number of those interested, it said in a report Monday.  

“We can talk about thousands of Ukrainians officially living in Poland, but working in Germany, where the labor shortage is also painful,” said Krzysztof Inglot, the agency’s chief executive officer. “That’s a serious threat for Poland.”

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