American workers unhappy with stress, income

But co-worker relatiosnhips and physical safety conditions score high in Gallup's annual workplace satisfaction survey

Workers in the U.S. are most satisfied with their relationships with co-workers and the physical safety conditions of their workplaces, according to Gallup’s annual poll on work and education.

On the other end of the spectrum, Americans are least satisfied with the amount of work-related stress and their incomes.

Over the past year, workers have become more positive about the amount of recognition they receive for accomplishments, their co-worker relationships, their bosses and their job security. Half of those surveyed said they were “completely” satisfied with their jobs.

Satisfaction with job characteristics

The poll, conducted Aug. 9-11, asked employed Americans to rate their levels of satisfaction with 13 different job characteristics. Topping the list were “relations with co-workers” (74 per cent completely satisfied) and the “physical safety conditions of your workplace” (73 per cent are completely satisfied).

At least half of workers are completely satisfied with the following workplace attributes:

•flexibility of hours (62 per cent);
•bosses or immediate supervisors (60 per cent);
•job security (54 per cent);
•the amount of work required of them (53 per cent); and
•the amount of vacation time allotted to them (52 per cent).

Less than half of American workers are completely satisfied with:

•recognition for work accomplishments (48 per cent);
•chances for promotion (40 per cent);
•health insurance (39 per cent);
•retirement plans (36 per cent);
•income (28 per cent); and
•the amount of stress in their jobs (27 per cent).

Men more satisfied than women, Republicans more than Democrats

A slight majority of men (53 per cent) said they are completely satisfied with their jobs compared to 46 per cent of women.

Older workers (those aged 50 and older) tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than are young workers — 59 per cent versus 46 per cent.

Not surprisingly, workers earning more than $50,000 US are more likely (55 per cent) to be satisfied than those earning less than $50,000 US.

There isn’t much difference in job satisfaction levels between private (44 per cent completely satisfied) and government or non-profit employees (49 per cent completely satisfied.)

When looking at political affiliation, the current poll finds a 21-point gap between Republicans and Democrats, the widest gap Gallup has measured. The results show that 62 per cent of Republicans are completely satisfied with their jobs compared to 41 per cent of Democrats. According to Gallup, the differences persist even when controlling for respondents’ income.

The results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected sample of 1,017 adults aged 18 and older. The results are considered accurate within three percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Latest stories