Job satisfaction hits 51 percent, highest level since 2005

Fifty-one percent of U.S. workers said they were satisfied with their employment in 2017, marking the highest level of job satisfaction since 2005, according to a report by The Conference Board.

The report shows that Americans feel more positively about their pay and have an increased sense of job security, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The report also reveals a rift between high and low wage earners' contentment.

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Workers who make more than $75,000 a year are more satisfied, the Journal reports. Almost 58 percent of those above that line report feeling content, while 45 percent below it said they feel the same way.

The report notes that this is the second year in a row that satisfaction has risen for those making under $75,000, while satisfaction dropped in the last year for those above that threshold.

According to the Journal, most workers told The Conference Board that they were content with their colleagues, commutes and interest in their work. They also rated their supervisors and physical workplaces highly.

The least liked aspects of work continued to be internal processes. Promotion policies, bonus plans, performance-review processes and education/training programs were the four lowest ranked items for the second consecutive year.

Last year’s numbers come close to 2005’s job satisfaction rate of 52 percent, but still well below the highest rate The Conference board has recorded when satisfaction hit 61 percent in 1987.

The numbers come in the midst of a flourishing economy. The unemployment rate reached its lowest level in almost 50 years in July.

The Conference Board also revealed on Tuesday that consumer confidence rose in August to the highest level in close to two decades.

A director at the Drucker Institute, Rick Wartzman, warned the Journal to take the numbers with a grain of salt.

“We shouldn’t confuse where the economy is cyclically with longer-term structural changes to the labor market,” said Wartzman. “By many measures we’re in a strong economy, but you still have a 30- to 40-year trend of flat wages and overall declining health and retirement security for most workers.”