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Low wages, long commutes = stressed out workers

April 9, 2014 at 7:04 AM ET

Eight out of 10 American workers are stressed out by at least one thing at work, according to the latest survey conducted by Nieslen for Everest College, little changed from 83 percent a year ago.

"I think a lot of it has to do with what's happening in the workforce today: People in the U.S. think we're still in a recession," said Wendy Cullen vice president of employer development for Everest College.

The U.S. jobs report, consumer confidence and other economic data may be showing statistical improvements, but on the ground for most workers, the reality is, many jobs cut during the downturn haven't been replaced. Workloads have increased. And that isn't coinciding with a raise — or, in many cases, hiring more workers.

Long, miserable commutes are one of the factors stressing out American workers.
John Moore / Getty Images
Long, miserable commutes are one of the factors stressing out American workers.

Low pay has been the top reason for job stress for four years running but this year, it tied with long commutes (13 percent each). Among the other gripes cited were unreasonable workload, annoying co-workers and poor work-life balance.

One encouraging sign of the times: Of the top 10 reasons cited, "fear of being fired/laid off" ranked near the bottom, with just 4 percent citing it as a source of stress.

Nielsen didn't break down the 20 percent who say nothing stresses them at work, but it did say that workers 65 and older appear more stress-resistant than any other age group: A whopping 50 percent of that demographic said nothing stressed them out at work.

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