Working More and Liking it Less?

August 22, 2002 ( - If you're working more, but liking it less, you're not alone.

A new report from the Conference Board said that only about half the 5,000 households surveyed are happy with their work, down from 59% in 1995 – a decline registered across all ages, incomes, and regions of the country, according to a Reuters report.

And not just work – but everything about work, apparently – as worker satisfaction with bonuses, promotion policies, educational training programs, and fellow employees all fell from levels registered at the survey’s inception seven years ago.

A Bright Spot
Looking for a bright spot?  There was one.  “About the only thing workers seem exceptionally pleased about is their commute to work,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center.

Not too surprisingly, the survey found a correlation between salary levels and job satisfaction.  Households earning less than $15,000 a year were the least satisfied of all groups, while those earnings more than $50,000 a year were the happiest. However, the report noted that job satisfaction levels have fallen at all compensation categories since 1995.

Middle-aged workers suffered the biggest slump, dropping from 60.9% in 1995 to just 47.4% who were satisfied in the most recent survey. 

Among regions, Rocky Mountain residents were most pleased, with a 57% satisfaction rate, while the 44% of New Englanders pleased represented the least enthusiastic group.