A poll by Gallop brings discusses improvement in worker perception of employment. 58% of full and part-time workers say they are completely satisfied with their jobs as compared to 50% in 2009-2013. The growth in the economy, lower unemployment rates, and improving employment opportunities are having an impact on worker perception.
The numbers also spotlight a few areas of concern. The amount of work, physical conditions, relationship with bosses, job security, recognition and workload are above 50%. Areas below 50% are opportunities for promotion, retirement, health insurance, earning power, and job stress.
Benefits such as health insurance and retirement have taken a significant hit in the current market. Employers often cut back on these expensive benefits due to the inherent increasing costs with little direct return to the employer. Employees will be asked to pick up a higher percentage of these costs.
A problem results when earning power is not sufficiently rising, making increased contributions to such programs difficult. As the cost of medical care shifts to employees with lower incomes new ways of doing things become necessary. The health care system itself is expensive beyond the cost of insurance.
Another important issue to workers is retirement. The traditional pension is nearly gone and the 401K is the standard approach. In today’s transient world the 401K offers more portability but also requires higher employee contributions. This can be difficult for people at lower income brackets.
As a country we still have some work to do and the positive employment perceptions follow suit with the improving economy. New ideas on how to manage retirement, higher savings rates, a more efficient medical care system, and a focus on improving income opportunities for all Americans is necessary. The numbers can slide as quickly as they rose.