Americans feel lukewarm about their workplaces at the moment -- even as they worry that their jobs aren't particularly secure and that the Bush Administration is doing a poor job of creating employment opportunities. Those are some of the conclusions from our Sept. 24 Reader Survey.
About 53% of the 1,100-plus people who responded said their jobs are "O.K.," vs. the 19% who said they hate their jobs and the 13% who said they love them.
Those opinions likely reflect a number of factors: Some 36% of those who responded said they're working harder now than a year ago, vs. 26% who said they aren't working as hard.
WEAKNESS IN WASHINGTON.
Moreover, 41% said they didn't get a raise in 2002, vs. the 45% who did. And 45% either aren't sure that they'll get a raise in 2003 or don't think they will, vs. the 51% who think their pay will rise.
Although 45% think their job is secure right now, a combined total of 48% either think their job isn't secure, or aren't sure.
Nor do a majority see much of promise on the horizon: Some 57% rate the Bush Administration's efforts to ensure that everyone who wants a good job can get one as "poor," vs. the 14% who think the Administration is doing a good job, and the 4% who give it a mark of excellent. About 66% think it would be "not easy at all" to find a new job right away, vs. the combined 27% who think they could land one pretty very easily or reasonably easily.
GLAD TO BE WORKING.
The juxtaposition of opinions on staffing and productivity in the workplaces of the people who responded presents a striking picture. For instance, 17% said the number of employees in their workplace has risen over the past year -- nearly the same number (19%) who believe their company is "very productive."
Some 48% say the number of people in their workplace has fallen over the past year -- almost the same number that say their workplace is only "somewhat productive" (46%). Some 25% say the number of employees in their workplace has stayed the same in the past year -- nearly equivalent to the number that regard their company as "not very productive" (27%).
Questions on workplace likes and dislikes elicited a wide range of responses. People seem happiest with the nature of their work and "the fact that I have a job," with pay levels a distant third as a source of satisfaction. That was consistent with the answers on what people like least about their jobs, where pay nearly headed the list.
Here are the complete survey results, which as always is unscientific, since anyone who wished to could participate:
How do you feel right now about your job?
|I love it||157||13.34 %|
|It's O.K.||620||52.68 %|
|I hate it||225||19.12 %|
|Not sure||88||7.48 %|
|I don't have one||87||7.39 %|
Compared with a year ago, are you:
|Working harder||428||36.39 %|
|Working about as hard||340||28.91 %|
|Not working as hard||307||26.11 %|
|Not sure||14||1.19 %|
|Not working at all (i.e., jobless)||87||7.40 %|
Over the past year, has the number of people at your workplace:
|Stayed the same||297||25.28 %|
|Not sure||34||2.89 %|
|I don't have a workplace||77||6.55 %|
In your opinion, your workplace is:
|Very productive||229||19.51 %|
|Somewhat productive||543||46.25 %|
|Not very productive||317||27.00 %|
|Not sure||10||0.85 %|
|I don't have a workplace||75||6.39 %|
What do you like best about your workplace?
|The pay||157||13.4 %|
|The hours||72||6.14 %|
|The people||155||13.23 %|
|The nature of the work||232||19.8 %|
|The fact that I have a job||246||20.99 %|
|All of the above||149||12.71 %|
|I don't like my workplace||65||5.55 %|
|I don't have a workplace||76||6.48 %|
What do you like least about your workplace?
|The pay||229||19.56 %|
|The hours||146||12.47 %|
|The people||151||12.89 %|
|The nature of the work||231||19.73 %|
|All of the above||58||4.95 %|
|I like my workplace||146||12.47 %|
|I don't have a workplace||81||6.92 %|
Do you feel secure in your job right now?
|Not sure||216||18.49 %|
|I don't have a job||78||6.68 %|
Did you get a pay raise in 2002?
|I will get one before yearend||89||7.61 %|
|I don't have a job||68||5.81 %|
Do you expect to get pay raise in 2003?
|Not sure||253||21.53 %|
|I don't expect to have a job||41||3.49 %|
If you wanted to or had to find a new job right away, how easy do you think it would be?
|Very easy||40||3.40 %|
|Reasonably easy||283||24.02 %|
|Not easy at all||772||65.53 %|
|Not sure||83||7.05 %|
How would you rate the Bush Administration's efforts to ensure that everyone who wants a good job can get one?
|Not sure||281||23.96 %|