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Special Report — A Post Labor Day Look at Work

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Every year about this time — and they’ve been doing it since 1987 — the Conference Board does a study of how we feel about our jobs and our place of employment. Its conclusion in 2017? As a society, we aren’t all that crazy about work and we are not satisfied in our current place of employment.

 

The Conference Board asked 5,000 workers how they feel about their job experience and received 1,673 responses. Here’s what the survey looked at:

  Job security

  Wages

  Promotion policy

  Vacation policy

  Sick leave

  Their health plan

 

On all subjects we were much happier about our work lot in 1987. Here’s some of what the study says:

  52.3% of us are unhappy at work

  The good news is the 52.3% is a .4% uptick over a year ago

  30 years ago — when the survey began — 61.1% said we liked our jobs

  The not liking work figure was at an all-time low in 2010 after the great recession

  Then only 42.6% of us were satisfied at work

 

Looking at some of the items in the survey. Long term employment prospects — say the employees — has dropped and with higher health insurance deductibles and more payroll deductions, employees a little less secure and unhappier.

Those two categories — job security and health plans — have seen an 11% drop since 1987.

 

Income looked better for higher end workers than those at the lower end:

  64.1% of those making $125,000 a year or more are happy with their compensation

  In 2011 that figure was 59.6% so it has gone up

  Just 24.4% of people making under $15,000 a year are satisfied

  In the mid-range of $50,000 to $75,000 a year 44.4% are satisfied

  It has gone down when compared to 45.8% in 2011

 

Here are the earning figures from the second quarter of 2017 as released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

16 to 19 years: $422 weekly          $21,944 annually

20 to 24 years: $525 weekly          $27,300 annually

25 to 34 years: $776 weekly          $40,352 annually

35 to 44 years: $976 weekly          $50,752 annually

45 to 54 years: $975 weekly          $50,700 annually

55 to 64 years: $966 weekly          $50,232 annually

65 years & older: $904 weekly      $47,008 annually

 

Men

16 to 19 years: $440 weekly          $22,880 annually

20 to 24 years: $549 weekly          $28,548 annually

25 to 34 years: $828 weekly          $43,056 annually

35 to 44 years: $1,065 weekly       $55,380 annually

45 to 54 years: $1,094 weekly       $56,888 annually

55 to 64 years: $1,058 weekly       $55,016 annually

65 years & older: $1,005 weekly   $52,260 annually

 

Women

16 to 19 years: $404 weekly          $21,008 annually

20 to 24 years: $508 weekly          $26,416 annually

25 to 34 years: $727 weekly          $37,804 annually

35 to 44 years: $877 weekly          $45,604 annually

45 to 54 years: $851 weekly          $44,252 annually

55 to 64 years: $869 weekly          $45,188 annually

65 years & older: $800 weekly      $41,600 annually

 

The study said the household median income in the U.S. is $56,516. That’s in 2015 the last year such data was available and it comes from the U.S. Census. The salary lists released show how much you earn per year earn depends on your age and your sex. The peak earning age is about 49 for men and 40 for women.

Male graduates from college earn more right out of school. They bring home an average salary of $50,200 at age 22. Female grads pick up $39,800 a year and that’s a difference of $10,400.

As for wage increases, women college graduates do better than men between age 22 and 32. At 33 things shift and their salary increases slow and the salaries for men remains steady.

The salary for women at age 40 — their earnings peak — averages $67,000.

 

What makes us the most happy?

  59% said interesting work

  60.6% say it’s the people they work with

 

The biggest worries? Layoffs.

  Just 46.6% are satisfied with job security

  That compares to 48.5% before the recession

  And it’s way, way down from the 59.4% measurement in 1987

 

Looking at men and women:

  Men are happier at their jobs than women

  47.8% of men are satisfied

  46.3% of women are satisfied

  26.1% of men say they’re satisfied with promotion prospects

  21.4% of women are satisfied with their promotion prospects

  38.3% of men are happy with their compensation

  34.3% of women are happy with their compensation

 

Physical environment and the quality of equipment:

  54.6% of us liked their employment’s physical environment in 1987

  Today it is 56.4%

  54.7% like the physical equipment at work in 1987

  Today that’s up too at 55.2%

 

Telecommuting is likely one of the reasons for the slight increases and employers are constantly rethinking and improving equipment and workspaces. One of the “improvements’ being done in some larger corporations — and even smaller ones — is the open office.

The International Facility Management Association tracks open offices and finds 70% of U.S. office spaces are open-concept. That figure was 64% two decades ago. Employees hate the open office and with productivity and morale suffering because we are all squeezed together, most executives are reaching the same conclusion and are beginning to hate them, too.

Researchers in Britain looked at 100 work environments and found while communication improves the ability of workers to focus drops and motivation drops along with it.

Environmental psychologist Sally Augustin said to counter the noise many employees are taking over conference rooms or popping into what are called “focus” booths and other quiet places that companies are now building into their open office concepts. “When you’re in a territory that’s clearly yours, you perform better,” she said.

 

Source links: Forbes, MSN Money

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Special Report — A Post Labor Day Look at Work  Weekly Industry News 

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