The number of foreign workers in the Czech Republic has nearly tripled in a decade, according to the latest figures released by the Czech statistical office.
From 2010 to 2019, the share of foreigners in total employment increased from 5.5% in 2010 to nearly 15% at the end of 2019, when 620,000 non-nationals were estimated to be working in the Czech Republic. Despite this strong increase, the country still has a below-average share of foreigners in Europe compared to its overall population.
The share of non-nationals rose in all sectors of the economy, and even make up the majority of workers (54%) in the administrative and support services sector.
Ukrainians (145,000), Slovaks (121,000) and Vietnamese (62,000) are the main non-Czech nationalities coming to work in the Czech Republic.
According to a spokesperson for the Czech statistical office, overall employment would not have increased in the Czech Republic without the influx of foreign workers.
The trend was only interrupted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions (-20,000 by mid-2020). The construction sector, where foreigners make up 28% of the workforce, was the hardest-hit.
A CVVM agency poll found that while Czechs’ acceptance towards foreign workers was growing, non-nationals are still perceived as a threat to local employment by large parts of the population, particularly in areas where unemployment is the highest.