August 26, 2002 -- The Conference Board said last week that more Americans are expressing unhappiness with their jobs. The Conference Board reported the findings in a special survey.
The not-for-profit business group finds growing numbers of Americans are less satisfied with their jobs compared to seven years ago. Only about half of those surveyed say they are happy in their jobs, down from 59 percent in 1995. The decline in job satisfaction is found among workers of all ages and across all income brackets.
The survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup, a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG).
Workers Most Unhappy With Bonuses and Promotions
"The widespread feeling among many Americans that their jobs aren't providing the satisfaction they once did is likely to be a growing concern for management," declares Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "Workers are least satisfied with bonus plans, promotion policies and educational training programs. About the only thing workers seem exceptionally pleased about is their commute to work. Even a declining percentage of Americans say they enjoy working with their colleagues -- 58 percent compared to more than 64 percent in 1995."
Workers aged 35-44 are the least content. Less than 48 percent are satisfied, down from nearly 61 percent in 1995. Older workers, aged 55-64, also express a low level of satisfaction. Only about 48 percent say they are satisfied.
Not surprisingly, satisfaction tends to increase as income increases. Households earning less than $15,000 are the least satisfied of all income groups. Those earning more than $50,000 are the most satisfied. But in all income areas, satisfaction levels have fallen since 1995.
Other key findings:
* The largest decline in overall job satisfaction -- from 60.9 percent in 1995 to 47.4 percent today -- occurred among households aged 35-44. People in this age bracket were once the happiest group in the American workforce.
* While the overall level of satisfaction among households earning in excess of $50,000 declined from 66.5 percent to 55.2 percent, this group still remains the most satisfied.
* The New England region experienced the largest decline in satisfaction, with only 44 percent of households satisfied with their jobs, compared to 65.4 percent in 1995.
* Residents of the Rocky Mountain region are the most satisfied, despite a recent decline in the level of satisfaction from 62.7 percent to 57 percent.
* Respondents rated their commute to work as the best part of their job, with 58.7 percent satisfied. But, here too, there was a decline in satisfaction levels from 1995.
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