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The Vast Majority of Employees in Germany Are Satisfied with Their Jobs

DIW Weekly Report 32/33 / 2015, S. 429-436

Karl Brenke

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The vast majority of workers rate their professional occupations positively; only one in eight is unhappy with his or her job. This has been the case for the past 20 years. There is little difference in the degree of satisfaction between genders, workers in West Germany and East Germany, or among different age groups. Even the level of compensation and the nature of the work itself do not exert any strong influence on job satisfaction. When a job is being evaluated, not only do its peculiarities play a role, but also the employees’ perceptions of what they should be getting out of their jobs. As a result, job satisfaction is significantly influenced by employees’ feelings and personal peculiarities. It is relatively common for people who are often anxious or angry, are happy relatively rarely, or who have a less optimistic future outlook to be dissatisfied with work. People who are dissatisfied with work are more prone to changing jobs, and in many cases, their satisfaction increases as a result. There are also quite a few dissatisfied individuals who decide to stick with their jobs and find themselves becoming more satisfied over time; presumably, they come to terms with their circumstances.

Karl Brenke

Research Associate in the Macroeconomics Department

JEL-Classification: J28;J63
Keywords: Job satisfaction
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)