Trends in Job Satisfaction

Saturday, 4 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
CLM.7.03 (Clement House)
Shivani Taneja, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom
This paper investigates the gender gap in job satisfaction of British workers and factors responsible for the emerging patterns are analysed. Utility derived from work is an important non-monetary aspect of a worker’s life and contributes in the decision-making process regarding labour market participation. At the same time, firms can achieve efficiency by maximising satisfaction scores of workers. Using the British Household Panel Survey, a graphical representation of the raw data describes the trends and provides an up-to-date picture of job satisfaction of the workers from 1991-2008. The data shows that whilst a large proportion of women report high satisfaction scores throughout the survey period, men are gradually catching up to the utility levels of female workers, resulting in narrowing gender gap in job satisfaction. Therefore, the following questions are addressed: why are men catching up to women’s higher job satisfaction scores in Britain? Are changes in employment profiles or frequent transitions in economic activity accountable for enhancing welfare among male workers? Are workers benefiting from business cycles, or in other words, is welfare cyclical? Finally, this paper employs another measure of welfare, particularly life satisfaction and compares differences in satisfaction scores from work and general welfare. To answer these questions, logistic regression models are employed. The results suggest that past unemployment spells is a significant factor explaining the emerging patterns of current job satisfaction. Previous job losses are negatively correlated with wellbeing, leaving its mark and scarring effect on the individual.  Furthermore, unemployment rates are influenced by business cycles and other macroeconomic conditions and hence, an economic boom or bust affects individual welfare from work. The results also show that welfare is cyclical and men are worse off during the recession. And finally, transitions in employment profiles and economic activity affect both job satisfaction and life satisfaction.