Which industries have the most satisfied hourly workers?

Light Industry Worker

There are hourly workers in nearly every industry and working environment. As the next installment of our hourly worker research series we are breaking down job satisfaction among hourly workers by industry, to learn which industries have the most and least satisfied workers. (See the full series)

We have already touched on hourly worker satisfaction. We found an overwhelming majority of people are at least modestly satisfied with their hourly wage job, and we learned that the larger the company, the higher the employee indexes from the norm to having high satisfaction.

While those are great insights, you might want something more specific to your industry. What I found as I built this chart was that, consistent with our broad findings, most hourly workers have a medium to high satisfaction level. Some industries are lagging behind the average though.

Hourly worker job satisfaction by industry
On a scale where “0” means “Not satisfied at all” and “10” means “Extremely Satisfied,” how satisfied are you with your current job?


Some things you might notice in the chart above:

  • Hospitals and in-home health care both have much higher “low satisfaction” rates than the other industries.
  • Retail and factory or construction site employees have a high rate of “medium satisfaction” so while they aren’t totally unsatisfied, they might not be very engaged.
  • Restaurants have the highest amount of “low satisfaction” responses, so while they might have a good rate of “high satisfaction” employees, 1 in 5 are extremely unsatisfied and could be actively disengaged and bringing profits and other employees down.
  • Hourly workers who work in an office setting are very satisfied (office, HQ, part of a larger corporation based elsewhere).

In two instances we can directly compare how employees feel when they are located where everyone else is vs. having to work in a remote location. If you compare working in a hospital to providing health care in patient’s home you’ll notice that while the job is technically similar, the people who work in the hospital have a much higher “high satisfaction” rate.

The other instance is comparing working in the headquarters of your company vs. being part of a larger corporation based elsewhere. Again, you will notice that the people who work at the headquarters have a higher “high satisfaction” rate.

Concluding, employees that work near their peers or at a company headquarters are more likely to feel connected and engaged. Companies are challenged to connect with their remote and dispersed workers.

Do you see any trends in the data that I am missing? Let us know in the comments.


Editor’s Note: Profile of the Hourly Worker’s first report, Demographics, Devices and Disconnection, was released in November 2015. It is an independent survey conducted by Edison Research on behalf of Red e App to discover insights and details about the United States’ hourly workforce. To request a copy of the report, just drop us your name and email address on the report page.

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