More Workers Satisfied with Pay

August 23, 2010 ( - Fewer than half of U.S. workers today (43%) believe they are underpaid for the work they do, down from 51% in 2008, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The majority (53%) now say they are paid the right amount, compared with 46% in the 2008 poll.   

In addition, 31% of workers say they are “completely satisfied” with the amount of money they earn – matching the record-high level of satisfaction with pay Gallup recorded in 2006, and slightly higher than the average 28% satisfaction seen over the past decade. When those who are “somewhat satisfied” are factored in, a combined 74% of workers today are generally satisfied with what they earn, while 26% are dissatisfied.  

Gallup said U.S. workers’ heightened appreciation for their pay likely reflects today’s challenging job market. National unemployment has registered roughly 9.5% in recent months, significantly higher than the 6.1% jobless rate at the time of Gallup’s prior measure in August 2008.   

Gallup also finds roughly a quarter of workers are worried that they could soon lose their job or see a pay reduction — nearly twice the August 2008 level. Only 10% say it’s a good time to find a quality job (compared with 20% before the economic crisis).  

Results for the poll are based on telephone interviews conducted August 5-8, 2010, with a random sample of 1,013 adults, age 18 and older, living in the continental U.S.