By Vicki Needham - 09/02/10 11:00 PM EDT
As employers let go of workers during the recession, those who kept their jobs increased their workloads to make up the difference. That led to a boost in company profits but created soaring unemployment levels that eclipsed 10 percent in October 2009.
Meanwhile, productivity was up 3.5 percent last year, the highest level since 2003.
In a recent Gallup poll, 55 percent of those asked said they were 'completely satisfied' with the amount of work required of them, whereas 30 percent said they were 'somewhat satisfied.'
Workers' two biggest complaints were the amount of money they make and on-the-job stress.
With productivity now declining, economists estimate that a short-term drop could put businesses back into a position to hire new workers.
That would likely lead to a boost of income for employees, potentially fueling consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy and is needed to aid the economic recovery.