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The day in numbers: 15

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(CNN) -- Despite Poland's estimated 15 percent unemployment rate, the country still lacks enough natives to fill jobs around the country as there has been a global mass exodus, particularly to Britain and Ireland.

2004: the year Poland joined the European Union, leading some officials then to warn of a brain drain to Poland's richer EU cousins.

38 million: the population of Poland.

1 million: the number of Poles who have left the country since its EU membership in May 2004.

5: the percent of economic growth annually in Poland, largely attributed to a boom in the country's construction industry.

1989: the year in which Poland switched to a capitalist democracy, leaving a sizeable chunk of aging laborers, who once worked the country's sprawling Communist farms or heavy, essentially unemployable in the new economy, according to AP.

$850: a typical monthly salary of one construction worker in Warsaw, Poland.

$3,400: the same workers' monthly salary in Paris, France.

Jan. 1, 2007: the date that Poland's Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's government is expected to adopt a Labor Ministry recommendation to open Poland's market to workers from Bulgaria and Romania, when the two countries join the EU.


story.polishplumber.jpg

Polish plumbers have become a symbol of cheap labor flowing from Eastern Europe.

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