BACKGROUND: In modern industrial society, the complexity and diversity of social structure has deeply influenced job stress, and thereby threatens mental health of jobholders more than ever. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of job stress in jobholders on propensity of anxiety. METHODS: Initially, 235 jobholders living in Cheonan, Asan or Seoul, from May to June 2003, were the subjects of this questionnaire. Only 233 jobholders were evaluated due to inadequate responses from two subjects. The questionnaire was made up of three contents: socio-demographic characteristic, Extended Karasek questionnaire for evaluation of job stress, and the Korean version of Goldberg anxiety scale for evaluation of anxiety. The data were analyzed by chi-square test and multiple logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Univariate analysis of propensity to anxiety showed a statistical significance on age, monthly income and job characteristics. Moreover, in terms of multivariate analysis, in accordance with age, 40 to 49 (OR: 6.1), showed the highest odds ratio of propensity to anxiety, followed by 30 to 39 (OR: 5.2) and 10 to 29 (OR: 5.4). In job characteristics, high strain group (OR: 3.7) showed highest odds ratio, but neither low strain group nor active group revealed any statistical significance. In monthly income, there was no statistical significance. CONCLUSION: Job stress in jobholders and propensity to anxiety was positively associated; especially, the more stress jobholders got, the higher propensity to anxiety was.