Americans Say ‘Take This Job and Shove It’

Aug 27, 2002

The Associated Press reports that workers are becoming less content with their jobs in many parts of the country, most especially in New England. A March survey of 5,000 people found that while most Americans continue to find their jobs interesting and are even satisfied with their commutes, the percentage of those who were satisfied with their jobs dropped from 59 percent in 1995 to 51 percent. The mail survey was conducted by New York-based Conference Board, which did not provide a margin of error.

Job satisfaction was lowest in New England at only 44 percent, compared to 56 percent in 2000 and 65 percent in 1995. The northern Midwest, Prairie and south central states – Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi – also dropped to below 50 percent compared to the 1995 survey. Workers in the Rocky Mountain states were the most satisfied, although they, too, had dropped from 63 percent to 57 percent in the past seven years.

Less than 48 percent of people aged 35 to 44 were satisfied with their work, compared with nearly 61 percent in 1995. The most satisfied age groups were those under 25 and over 65. Only about one worker in five was satisfied with their companies’ promotion policy and bonus plans, while nearly two in five were content with their wages. Job satisfaction increased with income levels, but even among the higher-earning households, it had dropped from 67 percent in 1995 to 55 percent in 2002, holding steady since 2000.

Moderator Comment: Do companies need to focus on inspiring employees to greater performance or is the threat of unemployment inspiration enough?

Motivation, for many, comes from a sense of ownership.
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with too many CEO stock option deals, many top
managers prefer to rent than buy. Employees see this type of behavior and understand
that the “We are Family” talk is just that, talk. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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