Just more than half of U.S. workers—51%—said they were satisfied with their jobs in 2017, the highest level since 2005, according to a new report from The Conference Board, a business-research group. Over the past seven years, Americans report feeling better about their pay along with a greater sense of job security, both features of an economy with a low unemployment rate and a long decline in layoffs. In July, jobless claims continued an extended post-recession slide and hit their lowest level in nearly 50 years.
Workers on the higher end of the income scale are happier than their less-affluent counterparts. Nearly 58% of those with total household income above $75,000 report feeling satisfied at work, compared with some 45% of those from households earning less than $75,000.
“These are higher-skilled workers, managers, and they tend to have more control over their day-to-day work activities,” said Rebecca Ray, leader of The Conference Board’s human capital practice. “Having more control can drive a lot of how you feel about the job.”
The group surveyed approximately 1,500 workers on 23 separate topics, from paychecks to commutes. On the annual wage component, the satisfaction gap is much bigger between those who make more than $75,000 and those who earn less. Around 58% of households with incomes of at least $75,000 were satisfied with their pay, similar to the rate of their overall job happiness. In contrast, 29.4% of people surveyed with household incomes below $75,000 reported they were satisfied with their pay.
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