Are you happy at work?

The Pew Research Center released a study the other day that finds that 26 percent of all employed workers in the United States have been out of work at some point since the economic downturn began. While it’s good that some people have found new jobs, what’s troubling in this study is that these workers are considerably less satisfied with their jobs than workers who didn’t suffer a period of unemployment.

According to Back at Work But… Most “Re-Employed” Workers Say They’re Overqualified for Their New Job:

  • While 78% of re-employed workers say they are satisfied with their jobs, that contrasts to 89% for those who never lost a job.
  • 55% say their family is worse off than before.
  • Only 39% say they get a sense of identity from their job (versus 52% of continuously employed workers).
  • 54% say they are overqualified for their job (versus 36% of other workers).

Fresh off Labor Day, I thought it was appropriate to look at shifting American attitudes toward work. The most interesting statistic here for me is identity because, for many Americans, identity has traditionally been wrapped up in what one does for a living.

So what are the long-term implications of an unhappy workforce? And what statistic stands out most to you?

Photo by FaceMePLS (Flickr).