Work, considering mainly work in the form of a paid job, places an important position in the life of every man. Work has its importance not only for the individual, who spends more than one quarter of every day of his productive life working, but also for the society. Although there have been changes in the meaning and the role of work in today’s society [see Mareš 2004], the majority of people consider work as a commonplace part of their life.
The negative characteristics as “inability” and “laziness” are ascribed by the society to people who are not engaged in any paid job. This is one of the reasons why enforced loss of work is in most cases perceived strongly negatively. The negative impacts of job loss on the individual and his or her environment are today well described in the literature [from Czech literature see Mareš 2002; Buchtová & team 2002].
Important data concerning employment and unemployment in the Czech Republic are collected by the Czech statistical office in its Selective inquiry on labour forces (VŠPS). VŠPS is a continual inquiry, the results of which are evaluated and published quarterly. From the data obtained by VŠPS it is possible to find out what proportion of Czech population is performing of could perform certain job. There are two indicators important here: the rate of economic activity and the employment rate. According to the results of VŠPS in the first quarter of 2004, the current rate of economic activity of population older than 15 years is 59,1% and the rate of employment is 54%.
I am going to devote my contribution above all to three important aspects of work activity: the individual satisfaction with work, the occurrence of negative phenomena at the workplace and the evaluation of job stability. I will draw mainly from the periodical inquiries realized by the Public opinion research centre SOÚ AV ČR.