Work stresses us out, but at least we like our co-workers

Nov. 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM ET

Corbis /
Piles of work may stress us out, but most Americans say they get along well with their co-workers.

There are things we like about work: Most of us feel safe on the job, for example, and many of us like our co-workers.

But most of us don't like the stress that comes with work. Oh, and we'd like a raise, please.

Just 29 percent of workers surveyed by Gallup this year said they were completely satisfied with the level of job-related stress they have to deal with. That’s little changed from 2001, the first time Gallup did this survey, and 2011.

Our paychecks aren't thrilling us, either. Just 30 percent of full- and part-time workers said they were completely satisfied with the money they earn, also little changed from 2001 and 2011.

About 33 percent of workers surveyed by Gallup this year said they were dissatisfied with the amount of stress related to their job, while 28 percent were dissatisfied with the money they earn. The rest were either somewhat satisfied or completely satisfied on those measures.

Health benefits was another common area of complaint. Only 35 percent of those surveyed were completely satisfied with their health benefits, down from around 43 percent in 2009.

The tight job market certainly has made work worse for a number of people. The unemployment rate is still high, despite falling in the past few months, and about 12 million Americans are actively looking for work.

Related: Hey Gen X, tell us how you're feeling about the economy

In addition, many employers expect the people who do have jobs to be working harder and harder for the same or even less pay.

But it’s not surprising that pay and stress are long-running complaints. Real median household income – or the midpoint of American household earnings – has been falling for the past few years and is about the same as it was more than a decade ago.

There are some things people generally like about work.

About 69 percent of workers said they were completely satisfied with their relations with co-workers, and 60 percent were satisfied with the flexibility of their hours.

About half said they were completely satisfied with their job security.


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