IWS Documented News Service _______________________________ Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach School of Industrial & Labor Relations--------Director, Institute for Workplace Studies Cornell University 16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------Stuart Basefsky New York, NY 10016-------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau ________________________________________________________________________
American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
THE STATE OF THE AMERICAN WORKER 2006: ATTITUDES ABOUT WORK IN AMERICA (Updated August 29, 2006) http://www.aei.org/docLib/200408301_work14886.pdf [full-text, 34 pages]
OVERALL SATISFACTION: In August 2004, 47 percent told AP/Ipsos surveyors that their job was very important to their overall satisfaction with life, and 44 percent said it was somewhat important. Poll questions from leading survey organizations show that the vast majority of workers are highly satisfied with this aspect of their lives. There has been little change in the responses since survey organizations started measuring them regularly in the 1970s. (The results from the major survey organizations are shown below.) Very few workers say they are completely or very dissatisfied with their jobs. Dissatisfaction is slightly higher among some groups than others. Young people, for example, are just starting out and their salaries are often low. Their dissatisfaction is unremarkable. It is a product of their place in the life cycle.
A striking indicator of satisfaction comes from two identical questions asked twenty years apart. Sixty-nine percent in 1997, up slightly from 64 percent in 1977, told researchers that they would take the same job again "without hesitation." Around a quarter said they would have "second thoughts." Just 6 percent in 1997 (9 percent in 1977) said they would definitely not take the same job again.
In a July 2006 survey, 31 percent told Gallup/USA Today interviewers that they would be happier in a different job. Sixty three percent said they would not. Those responses are virtually identical to Gallup's 1955 responses, 32 and 63 percent, respectively. Young people are more likely than older ones to say they have seriously considered changing jobs, an attitude that is a function of their stage in life. Their expectations about their jobs are different from the past, too. In 1977, in an Opinion Research Corporation survey, 47 percent of teens said "having a secure, steady job" was important to them in choosing a career. In 1999, 21 percent gave that response.
See Press Release [30 August 2006] "The State of the American Worker, 2005" Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2005
A new AEI Public Opinion Study, http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.14886/pub_detail.aspThe State of the American Worker, 2005, examines how workers feel about their jobs, their commutes, and their leisure time. The AEI collection draws on polls conducted by major pollsters over the past 50 years and provides a surprising look at the workaday world. http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.23108,filter.all/pub_detail.asp
Among the highlights: * Most workers are very satisfied with their jobs. There has been little change in job satisfaction since pollsters started measuring it regularly 25 years ago (Gallup, Harris, National Opinion Research Center, AP/Ipsos). * * Most workers are confident that they will be able to keep their jobs. Still, around 60 percent say it is a bad time to find a quality job in America (Gallup). * * The vast majority of workers are satisfied with most aspects of their jobs including their job security, their opportunities to move up, their coworkers, the flexibility of their hours, and their vacation time. (Gallup, NBC/WSJ, AP/Ipsos). * * More than 60 percent of those who work outside the home have commutes that are less than 30 minutes, and another 27 percent commute less than an hour. Nine percent of those who commute say it usually takes 60 minutes or more. Nineteen percent say they like their commutes a great deal, and another 41 percent like them somewhat. Only 12 percent dislike them a great deal (ABC/Washington Post). * * Around 20 percent say they would like to fire their boss if they could. Around a quarter said they would like their boss's job (Roper, Maritz). * * Most Americans say that they would continue working if they won a $10 million lottery (Gallup).
A final word: Polls are too blunt to be used to make policy. Polls can, however, provide a sense of how and what Americans think about an issue. That is what this public opinion study is intended to do.
"The State of the American Worker, 2005" is one of a series of AEI studies on public opinion by Karlyn Bowman. The studies include trend data from most major pollsters in the United States and are updated regularly as new polls become available.
Karlyn Bowman, who specializes in public opinion polls, is available for interviews at (202) 862-5910 or firstname.lastname@example.org (asst.: 202-862-5917).
Bowman's AEI website bio: http://www.aei.org/bowman ______________________________ This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.
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