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Overall Satisfaction with Working Conditions

Workers were asked to rate their overall level of satisfaction with the working conditions of their main paid job on a four-point scale, ranging from “very satisfied” to “not at all satisfied.” As shown in chart below, on average, about one third of workers in the 17 countries studied report being “very satisfied” with the working conditions in their main paid job. The results range from a low of 13.5 percent in Portugal to a high of 53.9 percent in Denmark . Workers in southern Europe are least likely to report being “very satisfied” with their working conditions. 

Although the percentage of workers in Canada who report being “very satisfied” with their working conditions is higher than the 17 country average, it falls short of the level of satisfaction U.S. workers report. This might suggest that Canadian employers face a recruitment or retention challenge regarding workers tempted by U.S. workplaces.

 

A Third of Workers are “Very Satisfied”
with the Working Conditions of Their Job

Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.
 

By Employment Status, Gender, and Age

Percentage of Workers Reporting Being “Very Satisfied” with Working Conditions of Their Main Paid Job, by Country, Employee status, Gender, and Age

   Total
Employee Status
 Gender
 Age
Self-employed
Paid Employees
Men
Women
<  25 Years
25-44
Years
45-64
Years
Denmark
53.9
67.2
53.1
54.1
53.5
44.7
50.6
63.1
Ireland
49.8
53.3
48.9
48.2
52.2
46.8
49.9
51.3
Netherlands
48.5
59.6
47.8
48.4
48.7
44.6
47.9
51.7
USA
47.4
61.2
44.7
45.9
49.0
43.7
45.7
49.9
UK
42.5
58.6
40.1
38.9
47.0
37.9
41.6
45.4
Austria
42.0
54.3
40.2
39.7
44.9
39.6
42.5
42.6
Canada
40.1
50.8
37.4
39.1
41.2
35.5
39.1
42.1
Belgium
34.4
45.7
32.2
35.1
33.4
44.6
33.3
33.4
Luxembourg
30.8
56.5
27.5
29.8
32.4
32.3
25.3
41.4
Sweden
29.9
49.7
27.7
28.6
31.2
27.1
27.4
31.8
Germany
26.9
42.5
24.7
25.5
28.8
22.3
26.8
26.7
Finland
26.4
27.4
26.3
26.4
26.5
27.6
27.5
23.4
France
22.3
32.7
20.8
21.8
22.9
21.1
20.7
24.8
Italy
19.5
26.6
17.1
18.4
21.4
13.0
19.9
20.4
Spain
18.9
31.3
15.0
18.0
20.6
17.0
17.9
21.4
Greece
15.1
15.1
15.1
14.1
16.9
14.1
17.2
12.0
Portugal
13.5
18.1
12.0
13.6
13.3
17.7
11.8
14.4
17-Country Average
33.1
44.2
31.2
32.1
34.4
31.2
32.1
35.0
Data for Europe from the Third European Study on Working Conditions 2000 (ESWC). Data for Canada and the U.S. from Ekos Rethinking North American Integration Survey (ERNAIS), 2002.
 

Employment Status

On average, self-employed workers are more likely than paid workers to report being “very satisfied” with the working conditions of their main paid job. This pattern is generally found in most countries, including Canada and the U.S.

 

Gender

On average, women and men are equally likely to report being “very satisfied” with their working conditions. In Canada, similar proportions of men and women report being “very satisfied” with their working conditions (39.1 percent of men and 41.2 percent of women).

 

Age

On average, the proportion of workers reporting being “very satisfied” with their working conditions increases with age. However, this is not a consistent pattern among the 17 countries studied. 

Younger workers in southern Europe(Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) are least likely to report being “very satisfied” with their working conditions, with the percentages ranging between 13.0 percent and 17.7 percent. In Canada, over one third of younger workers report being very satisfied with their working conditions. This is higher than the 17-country average of 31.2%, but somewhat less than the level for younger workers in some northern European countries and the U.S.

The percentage of Canadian workers in the 25-44 and 45-64 age groups who report being “very satisfied” with their working conditions is also higher than the 17-country average, but lower than for similar workers in the U.S. For the majority of countries, older workers (45 to 64) report being “very satisfied” with overall working conditions more often than workers in other age groups. In Canada, 42 percent of older workers are very satisfied with their working conditions; but again, this is lower than in the U.S. where almost 50 percent of older workers report being very satisfied. 

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