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Majority of US workers somewhat satisfied with jobs, but not all is rosy

April 02, 2019

Most American workers are happy with their jobs, including the generation of millennials in the workforce, according to research released today by CNBC, First in Business Worldwide and online survey tool SurveyMonkey.

The survey found 85% of respondents said they are very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs. Despite the overall optimism, only 9% of workers gave top ratings across all five categories of the inaugural Workplace Happiness Index. Additionally, 27% say they are not well paid and 30% have seriously considered quitting their job in the last three months.

The index — calculated from five measures relating to pay, advancement, value, autonomy and meaningfulness — debuted at 71 out of 100.

“Our study clearly reveals that workplace happiness is richly nuanced. While a big majority of US workers are at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs, there are a lot of negatives when it comes to how people relate to their work,” said Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer. “Whether it’s the fact that a quarter of all young workers doubt their contributions are valued, or that 40% of all workers don’t see clear opportunities ahead … simple ‘up or down’ measurements of job satisfaction never tell the whole story.”

“If companies want to hire and retain great employees, they need to open up feedback loops to get at the ‘why’ — learning what makes people happy and productive,” Cohen said. “Only through engaging in conversations at scale can managers bring meaningful change to the way their employees experience work and the workplace.”

This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted from March 13 to March 18 among a national sample of 8,664 workers in the US.

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