The Pomorskie Province is situated by the Baltic Sea. Its surface area is over 18 000 km2, which constitutes approx. 6% of Poland’s surface area. The city of Gdańsk is the capital of the region. The province has over 2.3 million inhabitants, the vast majority of whom live in urban areas.
The excellent location of the Pomorskie Province at the crossroads of international transport routes, improving transport accessibility of the region and growing logistics facilities are conducive to international exchange and attractive to foreign investors. The region is characterised by an exceptionally high investment attractiveness. The highest degree of concentration of economic activity is within the Tri-City Metropolitan Area (Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, together with neighbouring districts). There are also many other municipalities and cities attractive to investors, including Słupsk, Tczew, Kwidzyn and Lębork. Companies which have located there include: Scania, E.ON Sverige, Gino Rossi, Curver, Flextronics International, Eaton Trucks, Gemalto, Molex, Tapflo, Alteams and International Paper Kwidzyn.
54 700 persons were registered as unemployed at labour offices at the end of June 2021 (an increase of 2 400 persons, i.e. 4.6%, compared with June 2020). The registered unemployment rate at the end of June 2021 stood at 5.8% (which was 0.3% higher than in the previous year and only 0.1 percentage point lower than the unemployment rate for Poland). 47 800 job vacancies and places of professional activation were notified to labour offices in the province in the first half of 2021 (almost 1/4 less than in the respective period in 2020).
According to the LFS, in the first quarter of 2021 both the economic activity rate and the employment rate for the Pomorskie Province were higher than the rates for Poland, standing at 59.8% (57.3% for Poland) and 58.3% (55% for Poland), respectively, for persons aged 15-89.
The average gross monthly remuneration in the business sector is increasing. In June 2021, it stood at PLN 5 888.32 in the Pomorskie Province (PLN 5 802.42 for Poland), an increase of 10.9% compared with June 2020 and of 1.2% compared with May 2021.
Services, industry and construction are the driving forces behind the Pomerania region’s economy, and two dynamically developing ports, in Gdynia and in Gdańsk, are fostering the development of trade. The main branches of industry in the Pomorskie Province are the shipbuilding, wood and paper, petrochemical and electrical engineering industries. The food industry is also traditionally one of the leading sectors of the region, although agriculture is much less important than other sectors. The ICT (Information and Communication Technology), BSS (Business Service Sector), logistics, biotechnology, electronics and automotive industries have the greatest development potential.
Modern business services (BSS)
Tri-City is one of the best locations for modern business services in Poland. It is home to 158 centres of modern business services, which employ over 30 000 workers. The vast majority of these centres specialise in IT and R&D services (ITO centres) and financial processes. English is the language of business and is used by 141 centres, followed by German.
Modern business services centres operating in Tri-City include:
- centres which are American: State Street, Intel Technology, Sony Pictures, Thomson Reuters, Amazon, Jeppesen, Synopsys, ManpowerGroup, Staples, Airhelp, Acxiom and Quad Graphics;
- Scandinavian: Arla, Kemira, Hempel Paints, Unifeeder, Metsa, Seagul, DNV GL, Nordic Services, Marine Harvest;
- German: Bayer, ThyssenKrupp, Lufthansa Systems, Adva Optical Networking;
- Austrian: Swarovski, Competence Call Center;
- Belgian: Eurofins Digital Testing; Swiss: Luxoft;
- Spanish: Geoban (member of Santander Group);
- French: Sii, Atos, Intitek, Playsoft;
- Dutch: Wolters Kluwer, Goyello, Travactory, Smart4aviation;
- Indian: Wipro, WNS;
- Japanese: FujiFilm, Ricoh.
Shipbuilding is one of the most dynamically developing sectors of the region’s economy. The offer of Tri-City shipyards covers highly-specialised vessels and installations, such as cable footbridges, heavy lift jack-up vessels and LNG-fuelled vessels, wind towers, Arctic container vessels and exclusive yachts.
The Remontowa Group is one of the largest companies in the sector. Its main activity entails vessel repairs and construction of specialised vessels, such as Arctic container vessels, jack-up vessels or LNG-fuelled vessels. In the recent years the shipyard launched several hybrid ferries that perfectly match current trends in short sea shipping.
Other leading companies are the Crist shipyard (construction of heavy elevators), Energomontaż – Północ Gdynia (EPG), Mostostal Pomorze (construction of steel installations for the maritime sector), Nauta (ship repair services), GSG Tower (wind towers) or Kongsberg Maritime, formerly Rolls Royce (on-board winches, motor maintenance).
The Polish yacht industry is a global leader in the most popular segment of 6 to 9-metre motorboats (in this category Poland ranks the second after the United States). The region is home to many companies, including Sunreef Yachts, Admiral Boats or Conrad Shipyard.
Tri-City is not only a region of manufacturing, but also designing, with numerous companies employing more than 1 000 engineers in total.
World’s leading classification societies, such as DNV GL, Lloyds Register and American Bureau of Shipping, have their offices in Tri-City. More than 200 engineers are employed by the DNV GL office in Gdynia. ICD Poland (belonging to Vard Group) and Kongsberg Maritime (formerly Rolls-Royce Marine Poland) successfully develop their activity in Pomerania. The region is also home to two large research and design centres: Maritime Advanced Research Centre Centrum Projektowo-Badawcze Okrętów S.A. (CTO) and Centrum Techniki Morskiej (CTM).
With its excellent geographical location, the Pomorskie Province has a unique logistics potential that makes it a transport hub for Central and Eastern Europe. Thanks to two dynamically developing deep-water ports in Gdańsk and Gdynia and constantly expanding logistics facilities, the Pomorskie Province is also growing into a port hub serving all types of cargo and all directions of the world. The main driving force of growth is container handling.
The Pomorskie Province offers a well-developed and constantly expanded logistics base as well. The 110-hectare area in the vicinity of DCT Gdańsk is home to Pomeranian Logistics Centre (PCL), which follows the idea of Port Centric Logistics thanks to its location near the container terminal. In Port Gdynia, in turn, there is Logistics Centre adjusted to the needs of supply and distribution operators, forwarding companies, companies providing storage services and other logistics-related service providers.
Road and rail infrastructure is developing intensively as well, including along the axis of the Baltic-Adriatic transport corridor, serving imports and exports to and from Poland and other countries in the north and south of Europe.
ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector
A total of 129 companies employing at least 10 persons operate in the sector. More than 25 000 developers work currently in Pomerania, mainly in Tri-City, and they are employed in product companies (Boeing, Hapag-Lloyd, Nodea), outsourcing companies (Sii, EPAM, Ciklum, Kainos, Cognizant, Wipro) or in in-house IT departments of Shared Services Centres (Maersk Drilling, Staples, DNV GL). In terms of processes, software development and related R&D activities dominate, followed by IT support, application administration and infrastructure management. The largest company is Intel, which currently employs about 2 500 persons. It is followed by outsourcing companies, the largest of which is the French Sii, the second largest employer in the IT sector in northern Poland, employing 860 persons.
Biotechnology and light chemicals sector
Many companies operate in the sector, specialising in molecular biology (A&A Biotechnology, EURx), medical devices used in oncology, infectious diseases and transplantology (Blirt), cosmetics (Ziaja, Oceanic, Farmix Pharmaceutical Laboratory [Farmix Laboratorium Farmaceutyczne], Femi Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Laboratory [Laboratorium Farmaceutyczno-Kosmetyczne Femi], Inventia), laboratory diagnostics (Invicta), microbiological tests (J.S. Hamilton Poland), pharmacy (Labofarm, Polpharma, Profarm), detergents (Impuls).
Large heavy chemistry companies operate in the Pomerania region as well, the example being Lotos Group (which will soon merge with Orlen to form a leading oil company in the Central and Eastern Europe). The entire Lotos Group employs approximately 5 000 professionals. In its refinery in Gdańsk, the company manufactures fuels, industrial greases and oils.
Other significant activities in the chemical industry carried out in Pomerania include, among others, manufacturing of fertilisers (Fosfory in Gdańsk) and plastics (Fabryka Plastików in Kwidzyn).
Thanks to its high potential (qualified employees and seaside location with sea freight available), the region is becoming a key area for the Polish automotive sector in terms of electromobility and solutions for self-driving cars.
As for electromobiity, a flagship investment project is Northvolt, a manufacturer of batteries for electric cars and mining vehicles. Currently, it produces batteries for industrial equipment in Gdańsk. A new facility of Northvolt, which will become operative in 2023, will be situated within the Pomerania Investment Centre, next to the DCT container terminal, and it is to employ as much as 500 persons.
Pomerania plays also a significant role in providing solutions for self-driving cars. Intel, Aptiv and Nippon Seiki Europe are active in this field in Gdańsk.
Intel’s R&D Centre in Gdańsk employs approximately 2 500 programmers. It is the largest corporate R&D centre in Europe and the second largest centre in the world. In its facility in Gdańsk, Intel together with other companies develop, among others, data processing solutions used in self-driving vehicles.
Aptiv, in turn, creates active safety systems which help minimise or entirely eliminate human errors in driving, and consequently limit their consequences. Approximately 1 000 people are currently employed in its facility in Gdańsk.
Other key investors from the automotive industry include: Nippon Seiki Europe, Eaton – located in Tczew and manufacturing transmissions for gearboxes, drivetrain components and combustion engine compressors. It is also worth noting that Eaton carries out research and development activities in Tczew, where its modern Eaton Engineering Centre, which employs approximately 40 engineers, is located. The main tasks of the Centre include providing on-going support to Eaton Truck Components and implementing R&D projects for Eaton Truck and Eaton Automotive Groups.
When describing the automotive industry in Pomerania, it is impossible not to mention such companies as AQ, bus manufacturer Wiring Sytems Scania in Słupsk, Zoeller Tech or Federal Mogul.
The Pomorskie Province is a leading electronics production centre in Poland. The largest electronics companies in the world have invested here, with recent years seeing significant reinvestments. Approximately 20 000 persons are currently employed in the sector. The first large facility which was located in Pomerania was Radmor – the electronic device manufacturer, mainly for the military sector. Other large companies in this industry include: Flex, Lacroix, Jabil, Panlink Poland, Gemalto, Gerdins Cable Systems, Orbit One). Companies with Polish equity include, among others, Siled and Assel.
The impact of the COVID‑19 epidemic on the labour market in the Pomorskie Province
Poland was one of the countries that very quickly and actively used all available means to prevent the virus, and the Pomorskie Province is one of the regions least affected by the pandemic in Poland.
The employment agencies market was the first to experience a decline in labour demand when the coronavirus pandemic struck. In the wake of the economic downturn, employers first began to lay off temporary workers. Despite the difficulties, 58% of employment agencies in the Pomorskie Province continue to recruit jobseekers in manufacturing industries, construction, processing, services, logistics, shipping and trade. Temporary work is seen as a good alternative and sometimes the only solution for companies which are currently making short-term plans. It lets undertakings be flexible in terms of organisational arrangements and costs.
Due to the pandemic, development plans in the BSS sector were put aside as enterprises entered into an emergency mode: lockdown. Nevertheless, none of confirmed investments were withdrawn. From among the major business sectors, the BSS industry saw relatively least significant reductions in employment. As a matter of fact, 86% of the largest employers in the industry confirmed that they did not stop recruitment. In the long term, there may be problems caused by changes in global markets. Job cuts are possible, but without permanent negative consequences on a large scale. This is mainly due to the fact that the shared services sector is robust and supports industries such as IT, finance, security, HR and many others.
Results of a survey on the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the economic situation
In June 2021 the assessment of general economic situation made by the undertakings in the Pomorskie Province was less favourable than in the preceding month. In most sectors sentiment is less positive than a month earlier, with improvement recorded in this regard only in wholesale trade and the highest drop in optimism in the information and communication section. In all classes of business activity, sentiments are, however, better than a year before.
Forms of work: persons employed in services and wholesale trade most frequently worked remotely or in similar ways.
As at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, 10.3% of employees in the private sector and 16.2% of employees in the public sector worked remotely.
Leave: construction and retail trade companies were most affected by unplanned absences of workers who took leave or took care of children or family members.
Contracts: undertakings projected a decrease in contracts, on the side of both suppliers and customers.
Payments: undertakings engaged in retail trade, construction and manufacturing most frequently declared minor payment backlogs.Retail trade was most affected by such difficulties, threatening business stability (3.3%).
Maritime industry: the pandemic affected the overall performance of Polish sea ports. Their cargo turnover in 2020 was 88.5 million tonnes, i.e. 5.7% less than in 2019. Decreased figures when compared to 2019 were recorded, among others, in Gdańsk (by 10.9%), while an increase was recorded in Gdynia (by 3.3%).
Port in Gdańsk had the largest share in national turnover in 2020, accounting for 45.9% of the total cargo turnover. The share of the port in Gdynia was 24%.
Provincial Labour Office in Gdańsk
Statistics and analyses – Pomorskie Province
Pomorskie Labour Market Observatory
Occupational Barometer – Pomorskie Province
Statistical Office in Gdańsk