Chicago ranks low for satisfied workers

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 2:29 p.m. CDT

By Paul Tooher

Don’t be surprised if your co-workers are a little grumpier than usual these days. Turns out that workers in Chicagoland are not an especially happy lot.

That’s according to the Glassdoor, an online site that compiles information on jobs and employment.

In its rankings of the best cities to work in, Glassdoor ranked Chicago 40th out of the 50 largest cities in the nation. That’s behind Detroit, Cleveland and Memphis, Tenn.

On a scale of one to five, with five being very satisfied, workers gave Chicago a 3.1 rating when asked to score their overall job satisfaction. The Windy City also received a 3.1 rating when those surveyed were asked if they were satisfied with their overall compensation.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they expected conditions to improve over the next six months, with 33 percent saying they expected things to stay the same and 28 percent thought conditions would worsen.

San Jose, Calif., the heart of booming Silicon Valley, was ranked the best city to work in, with an overall satisfaction rating of 3.4 percent. Other cities rounding out the top 10 were San Francisco; Seattle; Salt Lake City; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Fla.; San Diego; Boston; Memphis, Tenn.; and Austin, Texas.

It may be, of course, that job satisfaction, like fine wine, gets better with age.

According to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago, nine out of 10 workers ages 50 and older say they're happy in their jobs, a proportion much higher than younger adult workers.

Of that share, 65 percent said they were "very satisfied" with their jobs, while 26 percent reported just being "satisfied" with work.

The reasons vary but workers polled said that by the time they hit 50, many have already climbed the career ladder, increased their salaries and have better job security.

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