People Are Happiest at Work Than Ever...Sort of

Conference Board's latest survey ranks job satisfaction higher than ever, but with a caveat
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2024 2:15 PM CDT
Workers Are (Sort of) More Satisfied Than Ever
A new survey found that job satisfaction is up in the US.   (Getty/gorodenkoff)

Morale is up for employees these days, at least according to Conference Board's latest report on US job satisfaction. Worker satisfaction hit an all-time high since the nonprofit research group began distributing the survey in 1987, with 62.7% of respondents reporting back that they're satisfied on the job. But from there, it gets a little complicated.

  • Overall happiness: While the survey respondents said they were overall satisfied with their jobs, there was a caveat. The survey's 26 other questions about more specific aspects of work, like wages and work-life balance, all sank from prior years.
  • Where's the discrepancy? Wall Street Journal notes that people's overall job outlook may be up due to a decrease in unemployment, wage increases surpassing inflation, and increased flexibility at some jobs. Negative views on more specific answers could be influenced by high mortgage rates, rising prices, and workers seeking raises and promotions. "In general, people are saying, 'I'm OK because I have a job,'" Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board, told the WSJ. "But they are worried about the future."
  • Conflicting analysis: Per the Society for Human Resource Management, a report released by BambooHR tells a different story. Their late 2023 findings pegged employee happiness at a four-year slump, with tech and nonprofit workers reporting lower job satisfaction than others.
  • Who's happiest? Across the board, Conference Board found that men were more satisfied career-wise (65%) than women (60%). Hybrid workers were most content (65.5%), followed closely by fully remote employees (64.1%), while those required to work on-site were least satisfied (60.2%).
(Job seekers get callbacks based on their names.)

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