New Englanders Might Like Their Jobs More Than Anybody Else, But That’s Not Saying Much

Commuters rush to board the train out of South Station in Boston during rush hour.
Commuters rush to board the train out of South Station in Boston during rush hour. –John Bohn/Globe staff

A new study from career and worker polling site Glassdoor, reported on last week, showed that Boston workers were the 11th most satisfied in the country.

There was one caveat there: Boston-area employees said they ranked their satisfaction as a 3.3 on a 5-point scale—just a smidgeon over 3.0, which meant their satisfaction level was “OK.’’

So maybe we’re a little bit happier with our jobs than everybody else. Blame it on rush hour or the T if you like, but that doesn’t exactly make us happy.

That qualifier becomes all the more necessary when you look at another new study, this one from business insight company The Conference Board.


According to that survey, only 47.7 percent of Americans say they’re satisfied with their jobs. While that’s a big increase from the depths of the financial crisis—in 2010, that number stood at 42.6 percent—it’s still fairly stark in finding that less than half of the country is happy at work. (Not surprisingly, better-compensated employees said they were happier than lower-paid workers. And workers aged between 25 and 34 were the most satisfied while those under 25 were the least.)

Things look a little more perky locally, though. The Conference Board’s survey found that 54.3 percent of New Englanders were satisfied—making for the best finding in the country. So by that standard, the region, if we can accept a direct comparison of Boston and broader New England, is doing even better than the Glassdoor results suggested.

The two surveys differ, to be sure. Glassdoor’s aggregated individual moods into one cohesive job satisfaction number, while The Conference Board polled a larger group of workers and asked more directly whether or not they were satisfied.

Still, the similarities in the findings are striking. And while Bostonians and New Englanders might be doing well on the job satisfaction front compared to the rest of the country, that hardly means everybody loves their work.

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