June 2, 2011
In general, most Americans are satisfied with their jobs; however, they are not as satisfied as they were three years ago.
According to Gallup News, The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a survey of employed workers aged 18 and older that measures job satisfaction based on four questions about participants' workplaces, found that 87.5 percent of workers were satisfied with their job in April. This percentage is an improvement over last summer's low of 86.9 percent, but still below the high of 89.4 percent in February 2008.
Job satisfaction among Hispanics declined the most, from 87.5 percent in 2008 to 84.9 percent in 2011, a difference of 2.6 percentage points. However, satisfaction across all demographic groups has dropped, or remained statistically unchanged, since 2008.
In terms of wages, workers with an annual household income of less than $36,000 were among the least likely to be satisfied, at 82.1 percent. Conversely, high-income earners--considered to be those earning $90,000 or more a year--were the most satisfied, at 91.9 percent.
When breaking down age groups, satisfaction among young adults decreased the most. Seniors aged 65 and older, on the other hand, had the highest job satisfaction in 2011, with 94.8 percent--even higher than high-income earners. Gallup noted that this data is consistent with the trend of job satisfaction increasing with age.
Men reported more of a decline in job satisfaction through the years than women did, which is perhaps due to the fact that at the height of the recession, male-dominated industries--such as manufacturing and construction--were hit hard, causing a disproportionate amount of men to lose their jobs. Women and men are now about equally likely to be satisfied with work.
According to Gallup News, the causes of decreased satisfaction are unclear, though it seems logical that it could be a result of the recent economic downturn which forced employees to take on more work or take jobs that they were overqualified for after being laid off. Concerns about job security during tough economic times may have also been a factor.
However, Gallup pointed out that it is possible that the decline could have been greater as the tough job market could have made Americans more thankful that they had a job at all. As Life Inc. reported, there are currently about six million more unemployed workers than there were in January of 2008.
In related news, Reuters reported that a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by The Workforce Institute found that 48 percent of respondents said commuting significantly impacted their job satisfaction. Perhaps the recession forced more workers to accept job offers that were farther away from home than would have been the case in 2008.
Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff
"Commuting impacts job satisfaction: poll," reuters.com, April 25, 2011
"Survey: Most Americans are satisfied with their jobs," lifeinc.today.com, May 31, 2011, Allison Linn
"U.S. Job Satisfaction Struggles to Recover to 2008 Levels," gallup.com, May 31, 2011, Elizabeth Mendes