Buildings thermal retrofit and labour demand

KK_IES_Przeglad2017_WydEl_160x230mm_2018_03_21 www_photo
Piotr Lewandowski, Katarzyna Sałach and Konstancja Ziółkowska estimated the labour demand required to meet the targets of anti-smog resolutions in two Polish voivodships (śląskie and małopolskie).

The anti-smog resolutions adopted in 2017 in two Polish voivodships (śląskie and małopolskie) are an important step towards improvement of the air quality in Poland. In about 10 years, nearly one million stoves in both voivodships are to be replaced with the more efficient ones. The requirements are binding mainly for owners of single-family buildings.

Additional 32 thousand jobs

The study by IBS team constitutes a chapter in the „Energy Efficiency in Poland. 2017 Review” published by the Institute of Environmental Economics (IEŚ). In the chapter „The assessment of labour demand generated by single-family buildings modernisation projects implemented in the voivodships of małopolskie and śląskie” Piotr Lewandowski, Katarzyna Sałach and Konstancja Ziółkowska discuss the potential impact of the adoption of anti-smog resolutions on labour market.

The authors estimate that approx. 16 thousand people (annual full-time equivalent) work in the thermal modernisation of residential buildings that is naturally happening in these voivodships. If only the obligatory measures, i.e. replacement of heat sources (stoves and boilers), are implement as a result of the resolutions, the employment in this sector would increase by only 6%.

However, the effects would be more noticeable if the replacement of heat sources is accompanied by additional interventions aimed at increasing of energy efficiency of residential buildings. An extended scope of thermal modernisaton, e.g. insulation of buildings (walls, roofs and floors, replacement of windows), modernisaton of central heating and domestic hot water systems, installation of solar collectors, could increase the additional labour demand by as much as 2.5 times. The comprehensive thermal modernisaton of single-family houses in the voivodships of śląskie and małopolskie could create additional 32 thousand jobs (annual full-time equivalents).

A possible drop in unemployment rate

The majority of newly created jobs would require low-skilled workers, i.e. persons who completed vocational training. As a consequence, the labour demand created by thermal modernisaton measures may contribute to lowering the unemployment rate, which is the highest among the low-skilled people. A drop in the unemployment rate would be noticeable in the case of the scenario with the assumption of the most comprehensive modernisation – it would reach 0.3 pp of the unemployment rate in the voivodship of małopolskie and 0.4 pp in the voivodship of śląskie.


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