Americans Are Happier at Work Than They Have Been for Years, and Here’s Proof

July 20, 2016, 9:31 PM UTC
Co-workers laughing together at meeting
Businesspeople at big creative agency
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American workers are happier on the job than they have been since 2005, according to a new study.

The Conference Board business research association released the results of their latest employment satisfaction survey, revealing nearly 50% of U.S. employees are satisfied with their current job, an 11-year high.

“The rise in workers’ job satisfaction is directly influenced by labor market improvements,” says Michelle Kan, The Conference Board’s knowledge organization associate director, who co-authored the study. “The latest annual job satisfaction trends mirror overall gains in the labor market.”

U.S. employers created about 287,00 jobs in June, but the national unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.9%. Overall unemployment has dropped dramatically since the Great Recession of 2008 from a high of 10.2% in 2009.

Researchers credit low unemployment with forcing employers to do more to attract and retain a happy workforce.

“When the labor market tightens, employers have a more difficult time finding enough qualified and willing job candidates to fill available job openings,” Conference Board Researcher Gad Levanon says in a press release on the study. “In these labor market conditions, workers are more satisfied with their jobs in several different ways. These include layoff rates and greater job security, more job opportunities and more job switching, increased wages and increased employer efforts to retain workers.