Czech Labor Market Opens to More Foreign Workers

Czech Labor Market Opens to More Foreign Workers

The number of foreign workers in the Czech Republic surged by almost 31,000 in 2023, reaching over 823,900 as of December.

That is about 2.5 times more compared to the end of 2015, according to the country’s labor offices.

Rapid Growth Since 2015

Over 285,500 employees now come from Ukraine alone — nearly seven times the 2015 figure of 41,800.

The overall count of Slovak workers grew 1.4 times, while those from European Union (EU) states rose 1.7 times in the same period.

Marian Jurečka, Czech Labor Minister, attributes this trend to the country’s aging population.

“The number of seniors is rising while the working-age population shrinks. Labor shortages hamper economic growth, so migrant workers fill vital gaps,” he explained.

Foreigners Approaching 20% of Workforce

Their share of the total workforce has tripled from 5.5% in 2010 to around 19% in 2023, based on available data.

The Czech Republic maintains one of the lowest EU jobless rates, with firms urgently needing more foreign hires.

Last year, the cabinet increased relevant quotas and may discuss further relaxations in 2023.

An amendment in the pipeline intends to streamline the hiring of overseas applicants in sought-after fields. It uses points for education, pay grades, and other factors.

How Czech Labor Needs May Shape ETIAS

The ETIAS visa waiver for EU visitors launches in 2025.

With Czech firms urgently requiring foreign hires even before that, their lobbying may ease restrictions further.

Relaxed policies like the points system may enable more long-term immigration.

As the country taps global talent pools, categories like investors, digital nomads, and students could benefit.

Families of settled workers may also reunite more easily.

Prague Could Push for Flexible ETIAS Rules

The Czech Republic’s demographic and labor pressures may compel it to argue for flexible ETIAS implementation within the EU.

With foreign workers approaching a fifth of its workforce, it may lobby for bloc-wide visa relaxations.

This could enable swifter processing for citizens of approved countries.

As its domestic policies turn more immigrant-friendly, Prague could influence wider Schengen region changes.

Demographic Realities Dictate Policy

Population aging coupled with labor bottlenecks compels the Czech government to tap foreign workforces.

Its policies now focus on easily attracting global talent to vital industries.

The country acknowledges its demographic constraints and pivots strategies accordingly.