Survey finds majority of Americans not satisfied with job

10:15 PM, Jan 5, 2010   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The numbers say it's so: a new survey finds more than half the U.S. population is not happy in their current jobs. The survey, done by the Conference Board research group, found only 45 percent of people are satisfied with their work.  That's the lowest level ever recorded in more than 22 years of studying the issue. The survey also found work interest has also dropped 18.9 percent, compared to 1987.  And feelings of job security have also dropped 17.5 percent, compared to 1987 responses.

A woman -- who wanted to go by the name of "Susie" -- says she's among those looking for more fulfillment on the job.

"I'm having a difficult time with my boss," "Susie" said, while walking down Nicollet Mall on Tuesday afternoon. 

"I'd like to be at a job that I like.  I'd like to be at a job where I feel comfortable with myself, my skills, what I do," she said.

And Susie's not alone.

The Minnesota WorkForce Center in Bloomington was booming with activity on Tuesday.  Workers say a majority of the people seeking assistance are looking for a "survival job."  But they say up to 10 percent of their clients are also looking for the "utopian job," which would better fit their interests and skills.

"I'm not surprised that employee satisfaction is going down," said Dr. Sally Power, a Management Professor at the University of St. Thomas.

Power says several factors are contributing to the growing dissatisfaction -- beginning with the tough economy.  She said the combination of decreasing salaries, increasing contributions to health care and job performance demands all take a toll on employee morale.

"Those days of helping the employee grow and develop are pretty gone," Power said.

Power suggests people take stock of their skills and plans for the future and start looking for a new job, particularly as the job market loosens up.  She also believes now is the time to consider entrepreneurial opportunities.

As for younger job-seekers, the survey found those reporting the most dissatisfaction on the job were those under the age of 25 (only 38 percent say they're satisfied). 

Power says that age group needs to realize they may not be handed a challenging opportunity, but instead need to either look for -- or wait for -- the more rewarding opportunities.

"Try to learn about the business environment rather than assuming that someone's going to give you the challenging jobs," she said.


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