U.S. workers happier with their jobs in 2014, says Gallup poll

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American workers are happy with their jobs, says a new Gallup poll, as nearly six in ten (58 percent) full- or part-time employees report they are satisfied with job security.

This upswing represents a trend from 2009 to 2013, the aftermath of the Great Recession, when roughly 50 percent of Americans reported they were completely satisfied.

While satisfaction with job security varies from year to year —at least slightly – a feeling of fulfillment has been steadily lower over the past five years than in the lead up to the 2007-2009 recession.

A weak economy and difficult job market during that period have given workers less security in employment, even after drops in the U.S. unemployment from its 2010 peak.

With unemployment now approaching 6 percent, Americans are beginning to feel more confident in job security – more than any earlier point.

This trend goes hand-in-hand with fewer worker concerns over layoffs, which Gallup notes have dropped this year to levels not seen since the Great Recession.

Satisfaction over specific aspects of their jobs also rose between 2013 and 2014.

In 2014, 59 percent of workers were entirely satisfied with vacation time received. This is a five-point increase from to 54 percent last year. In 2013, 56 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their boss or immediate supervisor. That number increased four points in 2014 to 60 percent.

However, three satisfaction issues fell this year: stress on-the-job, promotion chances, and schedule flexibility. Nevertheless, all three measures remained within 2013 levels, and none lost more than a single percentage point.

Americans feel more content with their jobs in 2014 than last year, but it is not clear if that satisfaction is because employers are improving working conditions and benefits, or if it is because of an overall improved economy and job market. When considering job security, it may be the latter, but reasons for increases in satisfaction with other aspects of the job are not apparent.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.