Low Pay Stresses Workers The Mostby Susan Adams, Forbes Magazine
Nearly three quarters (73%) of American workers are stressed out on the job, and the No. 1 reason is low pay, according to a new study by Harris Interactive for Everest College. The study was conducted by phone among 898 adults, 18 years old and up, between June 21 and July 1.
Some 11% of those surveyed said that pay was their biggest source of stress. This is the second annual stress survey by Everest College and the second time wages ranked as the biggest stressor. The second most stressful aspect of work this year: annoying coworkers, cited by 10% of respondents. Next up was commuting (9%), unreasonable workload (9%) and working in a job that is not their chosen career (8%).
There were a couple of bright spots in the survey. While last year, 9% of respondents said their biggest stressor was fear of being fired from their job, this year only 4% said that was their chief concern. Other sources of stress covered by the survey: work-life balance (5%), lack of opportunity for advancement (4%) and the boss (4%). Another piece of positive news: 26% said nothing about their jobs stressed them out, up from 21% last year.
The survey tracked responses by women versus men and found some interesting differences. Fourteen percent of women said low pay was their biggest stressor while only 8% of men said pay was to blame. Also 11% of women said they were stressed because their job wasn’t in their chosen career, compared to 5% of men.
The study also looked at what stressed workers of different education levels. Among those with a high school diploma or less, 14% said it was low pay, followed by annoying coworkers. College graduates ranked unreasonable workload as the biggest problem (13%), followed by low pay (11%).
Regionally, those in the Northeast (14%) said their workload was the most stressful part of their job, while in the South, only 7% cited workload. Instead, in the South low pay was the biggest stressor (14%). In the West, the top-ranked complaint was the commute to and from work (14%).
Presumably because they are not as stressed about pay, the highest concentration of workers who said that nothing stressed them out on the job, 37%, were those making $100,000 or more
[See my blog post regaring a living wage for more perspective on wages in America: http://aseyeseesit.blogspot.com/2012/07/making-case-for-living-wage.html#!/2012/07/making-case-for-living-wage.html