The state of the American worker 2014: Attitudes about work in America

Shutterstock

Article Highlights

  • In August 2013, 85% of employed people said they were completely/somewhat satisfied with the work they do @AEIPol

    Tweet This

  • The percentage of people who worry about being laid off near prerecession levels @AEIPol

    Tweet This

  • 59% of workers are completely satisfied with their amount of vacation time @AEIPol

    Tweet This

As we approach Labor Day weekend, we’ve assembled recent polls and historical trends on how workers feel about their jobs, benefits, co-workers, and the quality of their work life. In a related study, we look beyond concerns about work to assess economic insecurity in America. Both studies show improvement in Americans’ attitudes since the 2008 crash, although many Americans do not believe the economy has turned the corner yet.

•    Like your job?: You’re not alone. In every Gallup survey since 2001, 40 percent or more have been completely satisfied with the work they do. In August 2013, 85 percent of employed people said they were completely or somewhat satisfied with the work they do (Gallup).

•    Worried about losing it?: The percentage of people who worry about being laid off has returned to near pre-recession levels. Nineteen percent told Gallup this month they were worried about being laid off. In August 2007 at this trend’s lowest point, 14 percent expressed the same concern.

•    Easing anxiety: The substantial anxieties Americans felt about employment after the 2008 crash appear to have eased somewhat. Gallup’s August 2014 data reports that 58 percent are completely satisfied with their job security, an increase of 10 percentage points since 2012.

•    Cautious optimism: In January and April 2014 Pew questions, around six in ten said their financial situation would improve in the next 12 months. Roughly a quarter said it would get worse.

•    Comparatively speaking: This cautious optimism extends to Americans’ health care and housing financial situations. Comparable percentages express concern about gas prices, crime, and terrorism.

The state of the American worker 2014: Attitudes about work in America by American Enterprise Institute

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Karlyn
Bowman

 

Jennifer K.
Marsico

What's new on AEI

Defeating ISIS: AEI experts weigh-in before the president’s address on Wednesday
image Degrading, defeating, and destroying the Islamic State
image Wealth Building Home Loan: Building wealth through homeownership and retirement savings
image The $3 iPhone
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 15
    MON
  • 16
    TUE
  • 17
    WED
  • 18
    THU
  • 19
    FRI
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.