Work Satisfaction in the US Slowly Improving
A Conference Board study has sought feedback on job satisfaction and found less than half of Americans (47.7 percent) are satisfied with their jobs. The Conference Board noted that this is an improvement from the all-time low of 42.6 percent reported in 2010. However, there remains lots of room for improvement.
“Job satisfaction remains historically low, extending a trend seen since the turn of the century. While job satisfaction in the 1980s and 1990s routinely neared 60 percent or higher, 2005 was the last year in which a majority of Americans were satisfied at work (52.1 percent),” the board reported.
The surveyors asked respondents about overall satisfaction and also specific areas of satisfaction related to their jobs. Key highlights from the study include:
• Satisfaction with compensation, recognition and career development are near 10-year highs.
• Satisfaction rates were good when it came to such workplace environment factors as colleagues, one’s interest in one’s job, commuting, supervisors and the physical work environment.
• Dissatisfaction was high in such areas as promotion policies, bonuses, training and performance reviews.
• Strong contributors to satisfaction were communications channels, interest in work, recognition and workload.
• Respondents gave low priority to commute to work, health plan, retirement plan, sick day policy, and vacation policy.
• Big room for improvement was revealed in the areas of growth potential, communication channels, recognition, performance review, and wages.
“Based on macro trends — including a significantly tighter labor market, slowing productivity growth, and more business investment — worker satisfaction should be on the rise,” said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board. “But job dissatisfaction may remain entrenched until we see improvements in worker compensation, which has grown abysmally in recent years despite historically high corporate profits.”