Job Satisfaction: What’s Your View?

How happy are you with your job? I expect that many thought about that if only briefly yesterday — since for most it was the first workday of the new year. You know. A new year — and with it new goals, challenges, opportunities, ambitions, mountains to climb, songs to sing, yadda yadda yadda.

But whoa. Most people apparently aren’t satisfied with their jobs. And that’s surprising to me, particularly given how many have lost jobs during the Great Recession, or can’t find one, or who are cobbling together an income through a variety of part-time or temporary jobs.

Anyway, that’s the finding of a national survey from The Conference Board, as reported by Jeannine Aversa for the Associated Press, “U.S. job satisfaction falls to record low.” Here’s from the article:

The drop in workers’ happiness can be partly blamed on the worst recession since the 1930s, which made it difficult for some people to find challenging and suitable jobs. But worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades.

”It says something troubling about work in America. It is not about the business cycle or one grumpy generation,” says Linda Barrington, managing director of human capital at the Conference Board, who helped write the report, which was released today.

Workers have grown steadily more unhappy for a variety of reasons:

• Fewer workers consider their jobs to be interesting.

• Incomes have not kept up with inflation.

• The soaring cost of health insurance has eaten into workers’ take-home pay.

If the job satisfaction trend is not reversed, economists say, it could stifle innovation and hurt America’s competitiveness and productivity. And it could make unhappy older workers less inclined to take the time to share their knowledge and skills with younger workers.

Clearly our nation faces a host of important issues: the economy, job creation, security, health care, Social Security and when the ice will be off the roads so I can hit the concrete again and so on.

But this issue of job satisfaction is an important one because it does influence competitiveness and productivity — and in education, it is linked to helping students succeed in the classroom and beyond.

What’s your view?

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