In this text changes in the work sphere are analysed in the context of job creation and employment policy. The analysis is based on the thesis that work is an essential and effective source of income, enabling people to live outside the material poverty and social exclusion zone. The authoress presents general trends in the sphere of labour during transition: employment rate, occupational passiveness, unemployment, labour migration and labour condition. To verify the researched thesis, main social and economic programmes and activities of governments focused on job creation are being identified and analysed. On this basis the employment and job creation policy are being assessed from the perspective of its impact on social exclusion. Presenting dilemmas of the job creation and employment policy and other economic problems and political choices in the period of transformation in Poland the authoress aims to explain that creating employment was not a priority of any economic programme in that time. Despite the negative social consequences resulting from the decrease of employment no comprehensive job creation and employment policy was developed.