W artykule przedstawiono zmiany zachodzące w zasobach siły roboczej w rolnictwie w latach 1996-2007 pod wpływem przemian społeczno-gospodarczych oraz członkostwa Polski w Unii Europejskiej. Szczegółowej analizie poddano zmiany liczby pracujących w gospodarstwach rolnych w jednostkach AWU na tle zmian demograficznych i ekonomicznych (wielkości gospodarstw rolnych) oraz zmiany w strukturze płci i wieku użytkowników gospodarstwa rolnego.
The article shows the changes in the labour force in agriculture in the years 1996-2007, against the background of changes in demography and economy (farm size), as a result of socioeconomic changes and Poland’s membership in the European Union. The fact that Poland joined the European Union has positively influenced the economic activity in agriculture and, at the same time, it has slowed down the process of transferring agricultural labour force to non-farming jobs. In 2007 a positive change in the demographic structure of farming population was recorded. Generally, between 1996 and 2007 a decline in labour force was noted, but between 2002 and 2007 a slight increase was recorded. A negative phenomenon, however, is the fact that a large portion of the labour force in individual farms remains unused. Over-intensive employment in farming may lead to both open and hidden agricultural unemployment. Structural and quantitative changes in labour force show diverse intensity in individual voivodeships. Northern Poland, where large-size farms predominate, has lower density of farming population and a larger percentage of hired labour force. Central and South-Eastern Poland, however, shows a high density of population working in farming and a high share of people in working age running family farms.