Reuters: Czech government doubles quota for Ukrainian workers
The Czech government has decided to double its quota for Ukrainian workers, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said on Wednesday, due to an acute labor shortage as the economy continues to grow strongly, according to Reuters.
The Czech Republic has the lowest rate of unemployment in the European Union, and leading corporate lobby groups urged the government on Monday to relax rules for bringing in foreign workers, particularly from nearby Ukraine, Reuters said.
"We have approved broadening the program in Ukraine," Zaoralek told a news conference, adding that the government now aimed to process around 7,600 work applications a year, twice as many as hitherto.
Manufacturing is a key driver of economic growth in the Czech Republic, with foreign-owned firms feeding into multinational supply chains in the auto, machinery and electronics industries.
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Labor costs are vastly cheaper in the Czech Republic than in neighboring Germany, with the average gross monthly wage at 27,220 crowns ($1,076.91) in the third quarter of last year.
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Ukraine, which is not in the EU, has been a favored source of migrant workers for the Czech Republic due to its geographical proximity and cultural and linguistic links.