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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.1 General context

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Labour market situation in the country
  2. Definitions and concepts

Labour market situation in the country


The labour market of the Czech Republic has a strong regional character. Various geographic, demographic, historic, social and economic factors in different regions influence the field of employment.

The Czech Republic is traditionally a heavy-industrial economy, however, all sectors are present. Strong industrial focus, openness of the economy, low unemployment rate and free labour places in the market are reasons for empowering the concept of the Industry 4.0 and the so-called digitalization revolution. The National Initiative for Industry 4.0 was launched in 2015.

Conditions for new workers also differ regionally, which also impacts graduates and young people.

There is a gender gap in the Czech labour market in terms of pay-gap as well as lower rates of employed women, especially because of the long maternity leave and generally different priorities and ambitions among the majority of women.

The Czech Republic was in recent years one of the leading EU28 countries with the lowest rate of general unemployment

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
General unemployment 4 % 2.9 % 2.2 % 2 % 2.4 %
  2016 2017
Age 15-19 19-24 25-29 15-19 19-24 25-29
Youth unemployment 24.2 % 9.2 % 5.5 % 22.1 % 6.5 % 3.5 %
  2018 2019
Age 15-19 19-24 25-29 15-19 19-24 25-29
Youth unemployment 18% 5.6 % 3.1 % 15.8 % 4.5 % 2.6 %

Source: Czech Statistical Office

In 2021 we could observe a slightly worsening trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the fluctuation was comparable really low and diminished during 2021.

The situation of Young people in the labour market is slightly worse than that of other age groups. Also, the less educated parts of society have a worse position in the labour market.

The economic crisis hit young people, however, since 2013 the negative trend was reversed and by the end of 2016, the situation was nearly the same as before the crisis. The Covid-19 Pandemic, however, hit young people again. 

Due to the communist era, the tradition of entrepreneurship was severed and nowadays the interest of young people in entrepreneurship is rather stagnating.

The Activity status of the population by Age is shown in the following Graph no. 1, provided by the Czech Statistical Office (2020). 


Definitions and concepts


The current employment policy is defined by the "Strategic Framework of Employment Policy until 2030" agreed by the Government and implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MPSV). 

The manner of policy intervention into the labour market is rather more supportive than restrictive and due to free-market ideology has only limited possibilities for governing the situation on the labour market. 

Concerning employment policy, Youth is usually an age group of up to 25 years of age, or university graduates under 30 years of age, generally with no long-term work experience.

On the basis of the agreement between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, for the purposes of statistical monitoring of graduates, the definition is used of jobseekers as registered in the Employment Office according to the place of their residence on a specific date (30. 4. or 30. 9. of the year), for which the time from the successful completion of their study does not exceed 2 years. This definition is valid from 1st January 2004. Previously, it was the applicant, whose total time of employment or similar relationship did not reach 2 years after successful graduation (preparation), regardless of the length of their registration at the Employment Office.

Otherwise, regarding employment, the Czech Republic is harmonised in terminology with EU and international standards.

Young people are seen by the government as a vulnerable group in the labour market.

In accordance with Czech law, a person can start regular employment if they:

  • Are older than 15 years of age
  • Finished compulsory elementary education (9 years of elementary school)

Only Children up to 18 years of age have a special level of protection in accordance with international standards and the Czech Constitutional Order (see Chapter 1.1).

The Czech legal system provides special conditions for persons between 15 and 18 years of age in the terms of night shifts and 12-hour shifts (both are restricted).

Since 2014, when the New Civic Code came into force, young people older than 16 years of age can start their own business if the parents and court are not against it. 

Special benefits are provided for students active in economic life up to 26 years of age (up to 28 years in the case of doctoral students), but these are primarily linked with the student status than age as such.