NEW YORK — Yes, I’m satisfied at work.
Nearly half, or 49.6%, of Americans say that now, according to a new survey by the Conference Board. While it might not sound that great, it’s actually the highest level of job happiness in the United States since 2005.
No longer are Americans terrified of losing their jobs. They feel more secure that they can keep their current job or even quit and find another one quickly.
People also give their work colleagues high praise. Nearly 60% of Americans say the people they work with are great and the actual job they do is interesting.
In short, the overall mood at the office is better as the U.S. economy has grown and millions of Americans have gone back to work.
But that doesn’t mean that the American worker doesn’t have a list of complaints. At the top of the list is how companies handle promotions. Less than 25% say they are satisfied with their company’s bonus plan and performance review process.
Pay is another gripe. A few companies like Starbucks and JPMorgan Chase have recently announced salary hikes, especially for their lowest paid workers like baristas and bank tellers. But overall, wage growth in the U.S. is far slower right now than it has been historically. Lousy pay has become a key issue on the 2016 campaign trail.
Michael Wilkinson from Indianapolis exemplifies the good but not so great feeling that so many Americans have about the economy.
He has a stable job at one of the Indiana University libraries. He likes his job a lot, but the pay is modest. So he works part-time in retail at a furniture shop on the weekends to try to get ahead.
Wilkinson describes the economy as “improving but still difficult.” At 51, he worries if he’s saved enough for retirement.
“I feel like I’ve fallen behind some of my peers who just went fully fledged into business careers,” he told CNNMoney.