Sunday, February 25, 2007

53% of Americans Unsatisified with Their Jobs

From a MarketWatch article:

"Less than half of Americans -- 47% -- are satisfied with their jobs, according to a 2006 survey of 5,000 households released Friday by the Conference Board.

The dissatisfaction is growing. Last year marked the first time a majority of respondents have said they're unhappy at work, according to the occasional survey from the private research organization.

Twenty years ago, about 61% of workers were happy with their jobs. In 2005, 52% were satisfied.


The organization is conducted global research into factors that give employees an emotional or intellectual connection with their work.

The discontent uncovered in the latest survey is pervasive, extending to all age groups, all income groups below $50,000 a year, and to six of nine geographical regions.

The happiest workers are those over 55, those who make more than $50,000 a year, those who put in more than 50 hours a week on the job, and those who live in the Mountain states.

The least happy workers are those under 25, those making less than $15,000 year and those living in the Middle Atlantic states.

Somewhat surprisingly, 53% of surveyed workers said they were happy with their immediate supervisor, and 52% are satisfied with the physical environment at work.

Most workers are interested in the work they do, and they like the people they work with. They are even happy with their workday commutes.

But when the questions turn to money, the discontent shows. Thirty-six percent of workers are happy with their wages, while just 21% are happy with the bonus plan at work. Less than one-fourth of workers are happy with the promotion policy at work, with fewer than a third satisfied with their potential for future growth."

In general, I find the overall finding very surprising - especially considering some of the other things found by the study, including the fact that the majority of people are happy with their immediate supervisor. I wonder if more details regarding the study's methodology are available.

The fact that workers with higher wages tend to be happier with their jobs is not surprising. The fact that those who spend more than 50 hours a week at their jobs tend to be happier is interesting, though not really surprising - if you didn't like your job, you would not be likely to put in overtime, or, if you were salaried, stick with the job that requires 50+ per week. I'm not sure what to make of the geographical considerations - although I'm not sure how much variance there was based on geography.


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